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iMm-^ 


PUBLIC  &  PRIVATE 

LIFE    OF    ANIMAL 


PRINTED    BY    BALLANTYNE,    HANSON    AND   CO. 
EDINBURGH    AND    LONDON. 


ANIMALS. 


252639 


-•     PUBLIC    AND    PRIVATE 


LIFE     OF     ANIMALS 


ADAPTED  FROM   THE   FRENCH  OF 

4LZAC,    DROZ,    JULES  JAN  IN,   E.    LEMO1NE,    A.   DE   MUSSE7\ 
GEORGES  SAND,    &>c. 


BY 


J.    THOMSON. 


LONDON: 

SAMPSON   LOW,   MARSTON,   SEARLE,   &    RIVINGTo.V 
PHILADELPHIA:  J.  B.   LIPPINCOTT  &  CO. 

1877. 
[All  rights  resa-'fd.} 


/ 


$ 


CONTENT  g. 


PART    I. 


INTRODUCTION — 

INTERNATIONAL  CONGRESS  OF  ANIMALS         .....  I 

RESUME*  OF  PROCEEDINGS      .......  4 

HISTORY  OF  A  II ARK  .  .  .  .  .  .  -13 

THE  FLIGHT  OF  A  PARISIAN  BIRD  IN  SEARCH  OF  BETTER  GOVERNMENT         .  .  35 

LIFE  AND  PHILOSOPHICAL  OPINIONS  OF  A  PENGUIN  .  .  .  56 

THE  LAST  WORDS  OF  AN  EPHEMERA  ......  75 

THE  SORROWS  OF  AN  OLD  TOAD         .......  77 

THE  THEATRICAL  CRITIC      ........  88 

THE  PHILOSOPHIC  RAT          ........  98 

THE  SUFFERINGS  OF  A  BEETLE        .  .  .  .  .         IO8 

A  FOX  IN  A  TRAP  ...  .....         126 

TEXT-BOOK  FOR  THE  GUIDANCE  OF  ANIMALS  STUDYING  FOR  HONOURS  .  .138 

THE  INCONSISTENCIES  OF  A  GREYHOUND      ....  .  149 

TOPAZ  THE  PORTRAIT-PAINTER          .......          162 

JOURNEY  OF  AN  AFRICAN  LION  TO  PARIS     .  .  .  .  .  .175 

ADVENTURES  OF  A  BUTTERFLY          .  .  .  .  .  .  .         l88 

THE  MISFORTUNES  OF  A  CROCODILE  ......         2OO 

THE  FUNERAL  ORATION  OF  A  SILKWOKM  2O6 


CONTENTS. 


PART    II. 

PAGE 

DAILY  BULLETIN  OF  EVENTS           .......  213 

HISTORY  OF  A  WHITE  BLACKBIRD  .......  239 

THE  QUEEN'S  HUSBAND      .....                       .  262 

THE  LOVES  OF  TWO  INSECTS          .......  268 

THE  LOVE  ADVENTURES  OF  A  FRENCH  CAT            .....  282 

CELEBRATED  TRIALS           ........  296 

THE  BEAR  ;  OR,  A  LETTER  FROM  THE  MOUNTAINS  .....  309 

THE  SEVENTH  HEAVEN      .           .           .           .           .           .           .  318 

LETTERS  FROM  A  SWALLOW  TO  A  CANARY  .  .  .  .  .  -327 

MEDICAL  ANIMALS            .           .           .           .           .           .           .           .  344 

THE  GIRAFFE'S  TABLETS    .  .  .  .  .  .  .  -353 

THE  CROAKINGS  OF  A  CROW          ....  361 

SOUVENIRS  OF  AN  OLD  ROOK — 

SUMMARY    .........  367 

AN  OLD  CASTLE         ....  .  .  371 

THE  DUKE  AND  DUCHESS     .......  373 

AN  OLD  FALCON        ........  37$ 

WHAT  ANIMATES  THE  HEART  OF  A  CHAMELEON         .  .  .  -377 

HISTORY  OF  THE  HOSTS  OF  THE  TERRACE    .....  380 

LAST  CHAPTER         ......  .  .  384 


PAR 


INTRODUCTION. 


INTERNATIONAL  CONGRESS  OF 
ANIMALS. 

'^  EARY  of  insult,  ignominy,  and 
the  constant  oppression  of  man, 
we,    the    so-called   Lower   Ani- 
mals,    have  at  last  resolved  to 
cast  off  the  yoke  of  our  oppres- 
sors, who,  since  the  day  of  their 
'creation,   have  rendered  lib- 
erty    and    equality    nothing 
more  than  empty  names. 

A    deliberative    Assembly 
has  been  constituted,  with  the 


2  PUBLIC  AND  PRIVATE  LIFE  OF  ANIMALS. 

full  sanction  of  the  Great  Animal  Powers,  to  whom  we  look  with  con- 
fidence for  that  guidance  and  support  which  will  enable  us  to  carry 
out  the  measures  framed  for  our  advancement. 

The  Assembly  has  been  already  convoked.  Its  first  sitting  took 
place,  on  a  lovely  spring  morning,  on  the  green  sward  of  the  Jardin 
des  Plantes.  The  spot  was  happily  chosen  to  secure  a  full  attendance 
of  the  animals  of  all  nations.  In  justice  to  ourselves,  let  it  be 
known  that  the  proceedings  were  conducted  with  the  harmony 
and  good  manners  which  the  brutes  have  made  peculiarly  their 
own. 

An  Orang-outang,  fired  by  his  love  of  liberty,  mastered  the  me- 
chanism of  locks,  and  at  night,  while  the  great  world  slept,  opened 
the  iron  gates  to  the  prisoners,  who  walked  gravely  out  to  take  their 
seats.  A  large  circle  was  formed,  the  Domestic  Animals  on  the  right, 
the  Independent  Wanderers  on  the  left,  and  the  Molluscs  in  the 
centre. 

The  rising  sun,  struggling  through  the  gloom,  fell  upon  a  scene  at 
once  imposing,  and  full  of  great  historic  interest.  No  assembly  of  men 
that  ever  met  on  earth  could  possibly  display  a  more  masterly  control 
of  passion  than  did  the  non-herbivorous  and  carnivorous  members  of 
their  powerful  instincts.  The  Hyaena  became  almost  musical,  while 
the  notes  of  the  Goose  were  full  of  deep  pathos. 

The  opening  of  the  Congress  was  marked  by  a  scene  most  touching. 
All  the  members  embraced  and  kissed  each  other,  in  one  or  two 
instances  with  such  fervour  as  to  lead  to  the  effusion  of  blood.  In 
the  interests  of  the  Animal  Kingdom,  it  must  be  recorded  that  a  Duck 
was  strangled  by  an  overjoyed  Fox,  a  Sheep  by  an  enthusiastic  Wolf, 
and  a  Horse  by  a  delirious  Tiger.  As  ancient  feuds  had  existed 
between  the  families,  these  events  were  clearly  referable  to  the  power 
of  ancestral  usage,  and  the  joy  of  reconciliation.  A  Barbary  Duck 
chanted  a  solemn  dirge  over  the  body  of  her  companion,  who  had 
fallen  in  the  cause  of  freedom.  Before  resuming  her  seat,  the  member 
for  Barbary  made  an  eloquent  speech,  urging  the  Congress  to  over- 
look the  accidents,  and  proceed  with  the  orders  of  the  day.  At  this 
moment  an  unfortunate  Siamese  Ambassador  Elephant  was  about 
to  propose  the  abolition  of  capital  punishment.  Being  a  devout 
Buddhist,  he  advocated  the  preservation  of  life  in  every  form. 
Unluckily  for  his  doctrine,  he  had  placed  his  huge  foot  on  a  nest 
of  Field-mice,  killing  both  parents  and  children.  A  young  Toad 


INTRODUCTION. 


drawing  his  attention  to  the  melancholy  fact  overwhelmed  him  with 
remorse. 

In  simple  courtesy  to  the  reader,  we  must  state  that  the  report  of 
the  proceedings  was  obtained  from  a  Parroquet,  whose  veracity  may 
be  trusted,  as  he  only  repeats  what  he  has  heard.  We  crave  permis- 
sion to  conceal  his  name.  Like  the  ancient  senators  of  Venice,  he  has 
sworn  silence  on  State  affairs.  In  this  instance  alone  he  has  thrown 
off  his  habitual  reserve. 


RESUM&  OF  PROCEEDINGS. 

ONE  HOUR  AFTER   MIDNIGHT. 

Nomination  of  President. — Questions  relative  to  the  suppression  of  man. — 
The  members  of  the  Left  vote  for  war,  the  Right  for  arbitration. — Dis- 
cussions in  which  the  Lion,  Tiger,  Horse,  Nightingale,  Boar,  and  others 
take  part. — The  opinion  of  the  Fox,  and  what  came  of  it. 

This  publication  is  edited  conjointly  by  the  Ape,  Parroquet,  and  Village- 
Cock. 

The  garden  paths  are  thronged  with  powerful  deputies  from  the 
menageries  of  London,  Berlin,  Vienna,  New  York,  and  St.  Petersburg, 
The  Congress  promises  to  be  the  most  successful  ever  held  in  Paris. 
The  death  of  a  great  French  author,  who  devoted  his  pen  to  Natural 
History,  has  cast  a  gloom  over  the  garden.  The  cultured  animals  wear 
crape,  while  the  bolder  spirits,  proudly  disdaining  such  symbols  of 
grief,  drop  their  ears  and  drag  their  tails  along  the  ground.  Here 
and  there  distinguished  parties  are  hotly  discussing  the  formation  of 
the  Congress,  the  framing  of  rules,  and  the  choice  of  President.  The 
Wolf  sits  beneath  a  tree,  intently  gazing  on  the  Ape,  whose  careful 
attire  and  well-poised  eye-glass  proclaims  man's  far-off  cousinship  to 
his  family. 

The  Chameleon  considers  the  get-up  of  the  Ape  a  graceful  tribute 
to  his  human  kinsman. 

The  Wolf  suggests  that  "  to  ape  is  not  to  imitate  ! " 

The  Snake  in  the  grass  hisses. 

An  erudite  Crow  croaks  from  his  perch,  "  It  would  be  extremely 
dangerous  to  follow  in  the  footsteps  of  man,"  and  quotes  the  well- 
known  line,  "  Timeo  Danaos  et  dona  ferentes"  He  is  loudly  congra- 
tulated on  the  happy  quotation  by  a  German  Owl,  well  versed  in  the 
dead  languages. 

The  Buzzard  devoutly  contemplates  the  two  scholars,  while  the 
Mocking-bird  jeeringly  remarks,  "One  way  of  passing  for  a  learned 
biped  is  by  talking  to  others  of  things  they  do  not  understand." 


INTRODUCTION. 


The  Chameleon  blushes,  and  then  looks  blue.     At  this  moment  the 
Marmot  awoke,  to  pronounce  life  a  dream.     "A  dream?"  said  the 


Swallow,  " nay,  rather  a  journey."     The  Ephemera  gasped  out,  "Too 
brief,  too  brief/'  and  died. 

The  question  of  the  Presidency  brings  the  scattered  groups  to  the 


6  PUBLIC  AND  PRIVATE  LIFE  OF  ANIMALS. 

centre  of  the  garden,  and  to  business.  When  all  are  seated  and 
expectant,  the  Ass  brays  out  silence,  quite  needlessly,  as  the  only 
audible  sound  was  caused  by  a  Flea  sneezing  in  his  ear.  His  supporters- 
had  prepared  a  speech  for  him,  and  his  assurance,  gravity,  and  weight 
obtained  him  a  hearing.  It  was  whispered  that  the  honourable 
member  was  about  to  move  that  his  ancient  policy  of  progressing 
backward  should  be  steadily  kept  in  view.  The  orator,  so  adjusting 
his  ears  as  to  catch  the  faintest  murmur  of  applause,  flourished  his  tail 
impressively,  and  proceeded — 

"  Fellow-quadrupeds,  and  brother  brutes  of  all  climes  and  conditions, 
the  question  of  the  Presidency  of  this  noble  Assembly  is  one  of  primary 
importance.  In  order  to  lift  the  burdens  from  your  backs,  as  the  lineal 
descendant  of  Balaam's  ass,  I  offer  myself  as  candidate  for  the  position, 
hedged  round  as  it  is  with  difficulty  and  danger.  It  is  needless  to 
remind  you  of  the  hereditary  attributes  which  qualify  me  for  the  office 
of  President — firmness  verging  on  obstinacy,  patience  under  affliction, 
and  a  rooted  determination  to  kick  against  all  opposition."  Here  the 
speaker  was  interrupted  by  the  Wolf,  who  protested  against  the 
presumption  of  this  slave  of  man.  Stung  to  the  heart,  the  honourable 
Ass  was  about  to  indulge  his  time-honoured  habit  of  kicking  up  his 
heels,  when  he  was  called  to  order  by  the  Bear. 

"  Brothers/'  said  the  Bear,  "  let  not  the  heat  of  party  feeling,  added 
to  the  stifling  air  of  Paris,  compel  me  to  return  to  my  native  climb,  the 
North  Pole.  There  my  suffering  has  been  great,  but  in  the  Arctic 
Circle  I  can  grin  and  bear  it  as  becomes  my  nature.  Here,  in  a  circle 
so  refined,  such  brawling '  is  only  fit  for  men  whose  fiery  tempers  dry 
up  the  fountain  of  their  love."  The  Seal  trembled  at  the  sound  of  the 
dreaded  voice. 

The  Lion  roared  and  restored  order,  while  the  Fox  unobserved 
slipped  into  the  tribune,  and  in  a  brief  but  subtle  speech  so  eulogised 
the  Mule — who  carried  a  useful  appendage  in  the  shape  of  a  bell — that 
he  was  chosen  President. 

The  Mule  takes  the  chair,  and  the  tinkling  of  his  bell  is  followed  by 
silence  broken  for  an  instant  by  the  Watch- dog — who  fancied  himself 
at  his  master's  door — gruffly  inquiring,  "  Who's  there  1 " 

The  Wolf  casts  a  scornful  glance  at  the  poor  confused  brute. 

The  Parroquet  and  Cat,  preparing  quills  supplied  by  the  Goose, 
seat  themselves  at  the  table  as  Secretaries. 

The  Lion  ascends   the   tribune  with   imposing   gravity;    "shaking 


INTRODUCTION. 


the  dewdrops  from  his  mane,"  he  denounces  in  a  voice  of  thunder  the 
tyranny  of  mankind,  and  continues  :  "There  is  but  one  way  of  escape 
open  for  all !  Fly  with  me  to  Africa,  to  the  sweet  solitudes  of  bound- 
less deserts  and  primeval  forests,  where  we  can  hold  our  own  against 
the  inroads  of  degenerate  humanity  !  Far  from  sheltering  walls  man 
is  powerless  against  the  noble  animals  I  see  around  me.  Cities  are 
men's  refuge,  and  few  there  are  of  the  lion-hearted  among  them,  if  I 
may  use  the  expression  "  [ironical  cheers  from  the  Tiger],  "  who  would 
meet  us  face  to  face  in  our  native  wilds."  The  speaker  concluded 
with  a  glowing  picture  of  the  proud  independence  of  animal  life  in 
Africa. 

The  Elephant  advocated  emigration  to  Central  Africa.  "  It  is  a 
land,"  said  he,  "  where  teeth  and  tusks  are  excellent  passports,  and 
where  every  traveller  ought  to  carry  his  own  trunk  full  of  water." 
This  latter  remark  was  objected  to  by  the  Hippopotamus,  who  held 
that  water  would  be  more  useful  if  left  in  swamps  and  rivers. 

Hereupon  the  Dog  protested  that  nothing  could  equal  city  life,  and 
was  put  down  by  the  Tiger,  Wolf,  and  Hyaena.  As  for  the  Tiger,  with 
a  terrific  howl  he  leaped  into  the  tribune  bellowing  out,  "  War  !  blood  ! 
Nothing  short  of  the  utter  extermination  of  man  will  establish  the 
security  of  the  Animal  Kingdom.  Great  generals  seize  great  occasions. 
Did  not  Rabbits  undermine  Tarragona1?  Did  not  liquor  conquer 
Alexander  the  Great  ?  The  doom  of  the  human  race  is  sealed,  its 
world-wide  sway  ended  !  The  savage  despots  have  driven  us  from  our 
homes,  hewn  down  our  forests,  burned  our  jungles,  ploughed  up  our 
prairies,  scooped  out  the  solid  world  to  build  their  begrimed  cities, 
lay  their  railroads,  warm  their  thin  blood,  roast  our  flesh  for  food. 
Torturing,  slaying,  and  playing  the  devil  right  and  left,  men  have 
trod  the  skins  of  my  ancestors  under  foot,  worn  our  claws  and  teeth  as 
talismans,  poisoned  us,  imprisoned  us,  dried  and  stuffed  us,  and  set  us 
to  mimic  our  bold  natures  beside  mummies  in  museums.  Down  with 
them,  I  say  !  Down  with  the  tyrants  !  "  Here  the  orator  paused,  he 
caught  sight  of  a  tear  glistening  in  the  eye  of  a  lamb,  his  teeth 
watered,  and  his  claws  crept  out  at  sight  of  this  gentle  tribute  to  his 
eloquence. 

"  Well  may  you  weep,  sweet  one.  He,  man,  robbed  your  mother  of 
her  fleece  to  clothe  his  guilty  limbs,  stole  her  life  and  devoured  her, 
head  and  all.  But  why  recall  our  wrongs  ?  Is  it  not  enough  that  he 
deprived  us  of  our  birthright  ?  The  world  was  ours  before  his  advent, 


8 


PUBLIC  AND  PRIVATE  LIFE  OF  ANIMALS. 


and  he  brought  with  him  misery,  confusion,  death  !"  The  Tiger  con- 
cluded with  an  appeal  to  all  beasts  of  prey  to  fight  for  liberty. 

An  old  Race-horse,  now  a  poor  hack,  begged  permission  to  say  a 
few  words. 

"  Noble  beasts,  I  must  confess  myself  more  familiar  with  sporting 
life  than  politics,  or  with  the  questions  under  discussion.  I  have,  in 
my  day,  lived  in  clover;  latterly  the  neglect  and  brutality  of  my 
human  taskmasters  have  caused  me  much  suffering.  I  am  descended 
from  a  noble  stock,  the  bluest  blood  of  the  turf  circulates  in  my  veins ; 
but  alas !  I  disappointed  my  first  owners,  and  was  soon  sent  adrift  on 
the  world.  I  was  yoked  in  the  last  Royal  Mail  on  the  road,  and 
earned  my  hay  gallantly,  until  the  accursed  railways  ruined  my 
prospects.  I  beg  humbly  to  move  the  abolition  of  steam  traffic,  and 
that  the  influential  members  of  Congress  should  send  me  to  grass,  that 
I  may  end  my  days  in  the  green  fields,  enjoying  some  State  sinecure. 
Depend  upon  it,  no  one  is  more  deserving  of  your  sympathy  and  sup- 
port than  the  reduced  member  of  a  noble  family." 

The  President  was  so  moved  by  this  appeal,  that  he  left  the  chair, 
announcing  an  interval  of  ten  minutes. 


CLEARING  THE  BRAIN  FOR  ACTION. 

The  tinkle  of  the  bell  summons  the  delegates  to  their  places,  which 
they  take  with  a  promptitude  that  bears  witness  to  their  zeal. 


INTRODUCTION. 


The  Nightingale  alights  on  the  tribune,  and  in  a  gush  of  melody 
prays  for  bluer  heavens  and  serener  nights.  He  is  called  to  order,  as, 
notwithstanding  the  purity  of  his  notes,  he  had  proposed  no  tangible 
measure  of  reform.  The  Ass  takes  exception  to  the  songster's  low 
notes,  as  wanting  in  asinine  richness. 

A  modest  Camel  from  Mecca  proposes  that  men  should  be  taught  to 
use  their  legs  in  place  of  the  backs  of  higher  animals.  This  proposal 
is  greeted  with  the  applause  of  equine  animals,  including  the  President, 
who,  discovering  that  the  claims  of  this  distinguished  foreigner  had 
been  overlooked,  inquires  as  to  the  future  of  Turkish  finance. 

The  Camel  replies  with  much  good  sense,  "  There  is  one  God,  and 
Mahomet  is  his  prophet ! " 

The  Pig  here  gave  it  out  as  her  opinion  that  trouble  will  never  end 
until  men  are  compelled  to  abjure  the  faith  of  Mahomet,  respect  Pigs, 
supply  unlimited  food  and  drink,  and  abolish  sanitary  law,  so  as  to 
give  nature  free  scope  to  expand. 

An  old  Boar — accused  by  his  foes  of  wandering  about  farmyards — 
complimented  the  Pig  on  her  good  taste,  suggesting,  at  the  same  time, 
that  the  absence  of  sanitary  law  might  tend  to  poison  the  political 
atmosphere.  Mrs.  Pig  protested  against  insinuations  calculated  to  mix 
up  piggeries  with  politics. 

The  Fox,  who  had  been  taking  notes,  ascended  the  tribune  and 
commenced — 

"  It  is  with  great  satisfaction  that  I  rise  to  offer  one  or  two  remarks 
on  the  able  speeches  of  the  honourable  members  of  this  Congress. 
Before  reviewing  the  various  propositions,  I  take  this  opportunity  of 
saying,  that  never  throughout  my  diplomatic  career  have  I  witnessed 
harmony  more  perfect.  Never  has  there  been  a  more  profound  display 
of  unanimity  of  sentiment  than  in  the  wagging  tails  of  this  wise 
assembly.  The  tail  is  the  chief  attribute  coveted  by  man.  ['  Right 
you  are/  growled  an  old  Sporting-dog].  That  by  the  way ;  to  return 
to  business,  nothing  could  be  nobler  than  the  proposal  of  the  Lion  to 
establish  and  defend  our  animal  commonwealth  in  Africa.  It  must 
not,  however,  be  forgotten  that  that  continent  is  distant,  and  inac- 
cessible to  many  useful  members  of  the  Congress,  industrial  animals, 
who  might  succumb  to  savage  warfare  or  malaria. 

"The  allusion  of  the  Dog  to  the  joys  of  city  life  is  not  without 
interest ;  but  he  is  the  slave  of  man.  Mark  his  collar,  inscribed  with 
some  barbarous  name  !  "  The  subject  of  comment  scratches  his  ear,  and 


10 


PUBLIC  AND  PRIVATE  LIFE  OF  ANIMALS. 


INTRODUCTION.  n 


the  Mocking-bird  observes  that  his  ears  must  have  been  cropped  to 
imitate  man. 

"For  an  instant — carried  away  by  the  tide  of  his  eloquence— I 
shared  the  ardour  of  the  Tiger,  and  almost  lent  my  voice  to  the  war- 
cry.  War  is  very  good  for  those  who  escape  ;  but  it  leaves  in  its  train 
orphans  and  widows  to  be  provided  for  by  the  survivors.  Therefore 
it  is  not  an  unmixed  good,  more  especially  as  right  does  not  always- 
triumph. 

"  The  reasoning  of  the  Pig  is  both  good  and  bad,  and  like  that  of 
the  Boar,  is  more  calculated  to  affect  pork  than  progress. 

"  I  take  you  all  to  witness  that  peace,  war,  and  liberty  are  alike 
impossible  for  all.  We  are  all  agreed  that  evil  exists  somewhere,  and 
that  something  must  be  done.  [Loud  cheers.]  I  have  now  the 
honour  to  propose  a  new,  untried  remedy.  [Great  excitement.] 
The  only  reasonable,  lawful,  and  sacred  course  to  follow  is  to 
struggle  for  knowledge.  Why  not  take  a  leaf  from  human  experience, 
and  employ  the  Press  to  make  known  our  wants,  aspirations,  customs, 
and  usages,  our  public  and  private  life. 

"  Naturalists  imagine  they  have  done  all  when  they  have  analysed  our 
blood,  and  endeavoured  to  find  out  the  secret  of  our  noble  instinct 
from  our  physical  organisation. 

"  We  alone  can  relate  our  griefs,  our  patience  under  suffering,  and  our 
joys — joys  so  rare  to  creatures  on  which  the  hand  of  man  has  pressed  so 
heavily."  The  speaker  paused  to  conceal  his  emotion.  He  continued  : 
"Yes,  we  must  publish  our  wrongs. 

"  A  word  to  the  ladies.  The  circle  which  they  most  adorn  is  that 
of  home,  and  to  them  must  we  look  for  information — jotted  down  in 
leisure-hours — on  domestic  subjects.  Let  them  eschew  politics.  A 
lady  politician  is  a  creature  to  be  avoided.  I  have  further  to  crave 
the  indulgence  of  this  noble  assembly  in  submitting  the  following 
articles — 

*'  Article  ist. — It  is  proposed  to  vote  unlimited  funds  to  carry  out  the 
'  Illustrated  Public  and  Private  History  of  Animals,'  the  funds  to  be 
invested  in  Turkish  Securities  and  Peruvian  Bonds." 

A  Member  of  the  Left  proposes  to  take  charge  of  the  money-bag. 
The  Mole  suggests  that  the  funds  should  be  sunk  in  certain  dark 
mining  companies,  of  which  he  is  an  active  director. 

This  proposal  is  negatived  by  the  Codfish,  who  is  of  opinion  that 


12  PUBLIC  AND  PRIVATE  LIFE  OF  ANIMALS. 

they  would  be  safer  at  the  bottom  of  the  sea,  as  molehills  have 
hitherto  proved  unremunerative.  A  Hen  came  forward  with  her 
Chickens,  saying,  as  she  had  a  number  of  little  bills  standing  open, 
and  which  must  be  honoured,  she  would  take  part  of  the  coin  as  a 
temporary  loan,  and  do  her  best  to  lay  golden  eggs. 

This  suggestion  was  referred  to  a  select  committee,  and  here  the 
matter  dropped. 

"  Article,  2d. — The  Journal  of  the  Animals  must  combat  ignorance  and  bad 
faith,  the  joint  enemies  of  truth.  The  entire  matter  to  be  edited  by  com- 
petent brutes,  in  order  to  disarm  criticism. 

"Article  30?. — Men  must  be  employed  to  perform  the  drudgery  of  printing. 

"  Article  tfh. — The  Fox  must  find  an  intelligent  philanthropic  publisher." 

Here  the  Fox  shook  his  head  dolefully,  and  said  he  would  try.  "  I 
have,"  he  continued,  "  imposed  on  myself  the  severest  task  of  all,  as  the 
profits  of  publication  must,  for  a  long  time,  be  absorbed  in  corrections, 
discounts,  and  advertising." 

A  vote  of  confidence  passed  in  favour  of  the  speaker's  integrity  and 
ability  closed  the  proceedings.  Before  the  Assembly  broke  up,  it  was 
announced,  amid  loud  applause,  that  the  Ape,  Parroquet,  and  Village 
Cock  would  enter  at  once  on  their  duties  as  Editors  in  Chief  of  the 
"Public  and  Private  Lives  of  Animals,"  and  that  the  work  would  open 
with  the  "  History  of  a  Hare." 


HISTORY  OF  A  HARE. 


WRITTEN  FROM  DICTATION  BY   THE   MAGPIE. 


CHAPTEE   I. 

In  which  the  Magpie  begins.  —  Some  preliminary  reflections  by  the  Author 
of  this  history.  —  The  Hare  is  made  prisoner.  —  The  Hare's  theory  of 
courage. 

ONE  day  last  week,  as  I  stood  on  the  branch  of  an  old  tree,  medi- 
tating on  the  closing  lines  of  a  poem  I  was  about  to  dedicate  to  my 
race,  my  attention  was  arrested  by  a  Leveret  running  at  full  speed 
across  a  field.  He  turned  out  to  be  a  personal  friend  of  my  own, 
great-grandson  of  the  hero  of  this  tale. 

"Mr.  Magpie,"  he  cried,  quite  out  of  breath,  "grandfather  lies 
yonder  in  a  corner  of  the  wood.  He  sent  me  to  call  you." 

"  Good  child,"  I  said,  while  I  patted  his  cheek  with  my  wing,  "  go 
your  grandfather's  errands,  but  do  not  run  so  fast,  else  you  will  come 
to  an  untimely  end." 

"Ah  !"  he  replied,  sadly,  "love  feels  no  fatigue.  But  come  to  one 
who  needs  your  counsel.  My  grandfather  is  ill,  bitten  by  the  keeper's 
dog." 

Repairing  at  once  to  the  scene  of  the  disaster,  I  found  my  old 
friend  suffering  intense  pain  from  a  wound  in  his  right  foot,  which 
he  carried  slung  in  a  willow-band.  His  head  was  also  bandaged  with 
soothing  leaves  brought  by  a  neighbourly  Deer. 

Blood  still  flowed,  affording  fresh  testimony  of  man's  tyranny. 

"  My  dear  Magpie,"  said  the  venerable  sufferer,  whose  face,  although 
grave  even  to  sadness,  had  lost  nothing  of  its  original  simplicity,  "  our 
lot  in  this  world  is,  at  best,  an  unhappy  one." 

"Alas!"  I  replied,  "we  encounter  fresh  tokens  of  our  misery 
every  day." 


14  PUBLIC  AND  PRIVATE  LIFE  OF  ANIMALS. 

"I  know/'  he  continued,  "that  one  ought  always  to  be  on  one's 
^uard,  and  that  the  Hare  is  never  certain  to  die  peacefully  in  his  form. 
The  campaign  begins  badly.  Here  am  I,  perhaps  blind  of  an  eye, 
.and  certainly  lamed  so  that  a  Spaniel  might  easily  outrun  me.  Worse 
than  all,  I  am  told  the  shooting  begins  in  a  fortnight.  I  must  there- 
fore put  my  affairs  in  order,  and  leave  the  history  of  a  short,  but  not 
uneventful  life,  to  posterity  to  profit  by.  When  mingling  in  the 
•society  of  the  world,  one  is  constrained  to  observe  a  polite  and  prudent 
silence,  and  to  disguise  one's  true  sentiments.  But  in  prospect  of 
death,  brought  face  to  face  with  the  last  enemy,  one  can  never  hope 
to  win  his  clemency  by  polished  lying  and  hypocrisy.  My  tale  will 
therefore  be  unreserved  and  true.  Besides,  in  bequeathing  a  valuable 
history  to  posterity  there  is  a  satisfaction  in  feeling  that  one's  influence 
will  live,  and  prove  a  real  power  in  the  world  long  after  the  author's 
death." 

I  had  the  greatest  difficulty  in  making  him  understand  that  I  was 
quite  of  his  opinion,  for  during  his  imprisonment  he  had  become  very 
deaf,  and  what  rendered  it  still  more  disagreeable  was  that  he  obsti- 
nately denied  being  so.  How  many  times  have  I  not  cursed  the 
unnatural  life  which  bereft  him  of  hearing  !  I  said  in  a  loud  tone,  "  It 
is  a  noble  ambition  to  live  one's  life  over  again  in  one's  works,  and  the 
history  you  are  about  to  give  to  the  world  should  enable  you  to  face 
death  calmly,  as  immortal  fame  may  take  the  place  of  life.  In  any 
case,  the  book  ought  to  see  the  light ;  it  can  do  no  harm."  He  then 
told  me  that  his  troubles  had  been  great.  The  wound  in  his  right  foot 
had  prevented  his  using  the  pen.  He  tried  to  dictate  to  his  grand- 
children, but  they,  poor  little  ones,  had  only  learned  how  to  eat  and 
sleep.  It  had  occurred  to  him  to  teach  his  eldest  child  to  commit  the 
story  to  memory,  and  thus  hand  it  down  from  father  to  son.  "  But," 
he  added,  "oral  traditions  are  never  trustworthy;  and  as  I  have  no 
desire  to  become  a  myth  like  the  Great  Buddha,  or  Saint  Simon,  I  beg 
you  will  act  as  my  amanuensis.  My  history  would  then,  sir,  reflect 
the  lustre  of  your  genius." 

Wishing  to  invest  this,  the  most  important  and  perhaps  the  last 
act  of  his  life,  with  due  solemnity,  he  retired  for  a  few  seconds.  Being 
a  learned  Hare,  he  thought  it  necessary  to  commence  with  a  quotation. 

"  Approchez,  mes  enfants,  enfin  1'heure  est  venue 
Qu'ii  faut  que  mon  secret  delate  a  votre  vue." 


HISTORY  OF  A  HARE. 


These  two  lines  by  Racine  were  splendidly  rendered  by  the  erudite 
speaker. 

The  eldest  grandchild  left  his  accustomed  sport,  and  respectfully 
seated  himself  on  his  grandfather's  knee.  The  second,  who  was  pas- 
sionately fond  of  stories,  pricked  up  his  ears,  while  the  youngest  sat 
up,  prepared  to  divide  his  attention  between  the  narrative  and  a 
cabbage-leaf  he  was  eating.  The  old  Hare,  seeing  that  I  was  waiting, 
began  thus — 

"  My  secret,  my  dear  children,  is  my  history.     May  it  serve  you  as 


a  lesson,  for  Wisdom  does  not  come  to  us ;  we  must  travel  by  long  and 
tortuous  ways  to  meet  her.  I  am  ten  years  old — so  old,  indeed,  that 
never  before,  in  the  memory  of  Hares,  has  so  long  a  term  of  life  been 
granted  to  a  poor  animal.  I  was  born  in  France,  of  French  parents, 


1 6  PUBLIC  AND  PRIVATE  LIFE  OF  ANIMALS. 

in  May  1830;  there,  behind  that  oak,  the  finest  tree  in  the  beautiful 
forest  of  Rambouillet,  on  a  bed  of  moss  which  my  good  mother  had 
lined  with  her  softest  fur.  I  can  still  recall  those  beautiful  nights  of 
my  infancy  when  simply  to  live  was  to  be  happy,  the  moonlight  seemed 
so  pure,  the  grass  so  tender,  and  the  wild  thyme  and  clover  so  fragrant. 
Life  was  to  be  clouded,  but  not  without  its  gleams  of  sunshine.  I  was- 
gay  then,  giddy  and  idle  as  you  are.  I  had  your  age,  your  thought- 
lessness, and  the  use  of  my  four  feet.  I  knew  nothing  of  life ;  I  was 
happy,  yes,  happy  !  in  ignorance  of  the  cruel  fate  that  may  at  any 
moment  overtake  us.  It  was  not  long  before  I  became  aware  that  the 
days,  as  they  followed  each  other,  were  only  alike  in  duration ;  some 
brought  with  them  burdens  of  sorrow  that  seemed  to  blot  out  the  joy 
from  life. 

"  One  day,  after  scampering  over  these  fields,  and  through  the 
woods,  I  returned  to  sleep  by  my  mother's  side  (as  a  child  ought  to 
do).  At  daybreak  I  was  rudely  awakened  by  two  claps  of  thunder, 
followed  by  the  most  horrible  clamour.  .  .  .  My  mother,  at  two 
paces  from  me,  lay  dying,  assassinated  !  .  .  .  *  Ran  away/  she  cried, 
and  expired.  Her  last  breath  was  for  me  !  One  second  had  taught 
me  what  a  gun  was  in  the  cruel  hands  of  man.  Ah,  my  children ! 
were  there  no  men  on  earth,  it  would  be  the  Hares'  paradise.  It  is  so 
full  of  riches.  Its  brooks  are  so  pure,  its  herbs  so  sweet,  and  its 
mossy  nooks  so  lovely.  Who,  I  ask  you,  could  be  happier  than  a 
Hare,  if  the  good  God  had  not,  for  His  own  wise  ends,  permitted  man 
to  oppress  us  1  But  alas !  every  medal  has  a  reverse  face  ;  evil  is 
always  side  by  side  with  good,  and  man  by  the  side  of  the  brute. 
Would  you  believe  it,  my  dear  Magpie — I  have  it  on  the  best  authority 
— that  man  was  originally  a  godlike  animal  1 " 

"  So  it  is  said,"  I  replied,  "  and  he  has  himself  to  thank  for  his 
present  condition." 

"Tell  me,  grandfather,"  said  the  youngest;  "in  the  field  yonder 
were  two  little  Hares  with  their  sister,  and  a  large  bird  that  wanted 
to  prevent  them  passing.  Was  that  a  man  ? " 

"  Be  quiet,"  said  her  brother ;  "  since  it  was  a  bird,  how  could  it  be 
a  man  ?  If  you  want  grandfather  to  hear,  you  must  scream,  and  that 
will  frighten  the  neighbours." 

"  Silence  ! "  cried  the  old  Hare,  who  perceived  they  were  not  listening. 
He  then  inquired,  "Where  was  I  ?  " 

"Your  mother  had  just  died,  and  you  had  fled." 


HISTORY  OF  A  HARE. 


"  Yes,  to  be  sure.    My  poor  mother,  she  was  right;  her  death  was  only 
a  prelude  to  my  own  suffering.     It  was  a  royal  hunt  that  day,  and  a 


(t 


horrible  carnage  took  place.  The  ground  was  strewn  with  the  slain ; 
blood  everywhere,  on  the  grass  and  underwood  ;  branches,  broken  by 
bullets,  lay  scattered  about ;  and  the  flowers  were  trodden  under  foot. 


i8  PUBLIC  AND  PRIVATE  LIFE  OF  ANIMALS. 

Five  hundred  victims  fell  on  that  dreadful  day.  One  cannot  under- 
stand why  men  should  call  this  sport,  and  enjoy  it  as  a  pastime. 

"  My  mother's  death  was  well  and  speedily  avenged.  It  was  a  royal 
hunt,  but  it  was  the  last ;  he  who  held  the  gun,  I  am  told,  passed  once 
more  through  Eambouillet,  but  not  as  a  sportsman. 

"I  followed  my  mother's  advice,  and,  for  a  hare  only  eighteen 
days  old,  ran  bravely ;  yes,  bravely !  If  ever,  my  children,  you  are  in 
danger,  fear  nothing,  flee  from  it.  It  is  no  disgrace  to  retreat  before 
superior  force.  Nothing  annoys  me  more  than  to  hear  men  talk  of  our 
timidity  and  cowardice.  They  ought  rather  to  admire  and  imitate  the 
tact  which  prompts  us  to  use  our  legs,  being  ignorant  of  the  use  of 
arms.  Our  weakness  makes  the  strength  of  boastful  men  and  brutes. 

"  I  ran  until  I  fell  quite  exhausted,  and  became  insensible.  When 
I  recovered  consciousness,  judge  of  my  terror !  I  found  myself  no 
longer  in  the  green  fields,  but  shut  up  in  a  narrow  prison,  a  closed 
basket.  My  luck  had  deserted  me,  and  yet  it  was  something  to  know 
I  was  still  living,  as  it  is  said  death  is  the  worst  of  all  evils,  being  the 
last.  But  men  rarely  release  their  prisoners.  My  mind  therefore 
became  a  prey  to  bitter  forebodings,  as  I  had  no  notion  of  what  might 
become  of  me.  I  was  shaken  by  rough  jolts,  when  one,  more  severe 
than  the  others,  half-opened  my  prison  door,  and  enabled  me  to  see 
that  the  man  on  whose  arm  it  was  suspended  was  not  walking,  yet  a 
rapid  motion  carried  us  along.  You,  who  as  yet  have  seen  nothing, 
will  find  it  hard  to  believe  that  my  captor  was  mounted  on  a  horse. 
It  was  man  above,  and  horse  beneath.  I  could  never  make  out  why 
such  a  strong,  noble  creature  should,  like  a  dog,  consent  to  become  the 
slave  of  man — to  carry  him  to  and  fro,  and  be  whipped,  spurred,  and 
abused  by  him.  If,  like  the  Buddhists,  we  were  to  believe  in  trans- 
migration after  death,  it  would  all  come  right  at  last,  and  we  some 
day,  as  men,  would  have  our  time  of  torturing  animals.  But  the 
doctrine,  my  children,  is  more  than  doubtful.  I,  for  one,  have  no  faith 
in  it. 

"  My  captor  was  a  magnificent  creature — the  king's  footman." 


HISTORY  OF  A  HARE.  19 


CHAPTER  II. 

The  Revolution  of  July,  and  its  fatal  consequences.— Utility  of  the 
Fine  Arts. 

AFTER  a  brief  but  impressive  pause,  a  shadow  seeming  to  settle  on 
his  fine  features,  my  old  friend  resumed  the  thread  of  his  narrative. 

"  I  offered  no  resistance.  It  was  my  fate,  and  I  accepted  it  calmly. 
Among  men,  every  one  is  more  or  less  the  servant  of  another,  the  only 
difference  being  in  the  kind  of  services  rendered.  Once  within  the 
pale  of  civilisation,  I  was  forced  to  accept  its  degrading  obligations. 
The  king's  lackey  was  my  master. 

"  As  good  luck  would  have  it,  his  little  girl,  who  had  taken  me  for  a 
cat,  became  my  friend.  It  was  soon  settled  that  I  was  to  be  killed. 
My  mistress  pleaded  for  my  youth  and  beauty,  and  the  pleasure 
which  my  society  afforded  her.  Her  chief  delight  was  in  pulling  my 
ears,  a  familiarity  which  I  never  resented.  My  patience  won  her 
heart,  and  I  felt  grateful  to  her  for  her  kindness  to  me. 

"  Women,  my  children,  are  infinitely  superior  to  men ;  they  never 
go  hunting  hares,  men  are  their  game  ! 

"  I  would  have  suffered  patiently,  had  I  seen  the  faintest  prospect  of 
escape  ;  but  I  dreaded  the  pitiless  bayonet  of  the  guard  at  the  gate  of 
the  Louvre. 

"  In  a  small  room  in  Paris,  beneath  the  shade  of  the  Tuileries,  I 
often  watered  my  bread  with  my  tears.  This  bread  of  slavery  seemed, 
oh !  so  bitter,  and  so  difficult  to  get  over,  for  my  heart  was  full 
of  the  green  fields  and  sweet  herbs  of  freedom.  No  abode  on 
earth  can  be  more  dreary  than  a  palace  when  one  is  compelled  to  re- 
main within  its  gilded  walls.  The  gold  and  glitter  soon  grow  dim 
when  compared  with  the  blue  sky  and  free  earth,  the  delight  of 
God's  creatures. 

"  I  tried  to  while  away  the  time  by  gazing  out  of  the  window,  but 
this  only  rendered  my  bondage  all  the  more  galling.  I  began  to  hate 
the  monotony  of  my  new  life.  What  would  I  not  have  given  for  one 
hour's  liberty,  and  a  bit  of  thyme.  Often  was  I  tempted  to  throw 
myself  from  the  window  of  my  prison,  to  take  one  desperate  leap,  and 
live  or  die  for  freedom.  Believe  me,  my  children,  happiness  seldom 
dwells  within  palace  walls. 


20  PUBLIC  AND  PRIVATE  LIFE  OF  ANIMALS. 

"  My  master,  in  his  position  as  royal  footman,  had  little  to  occupy 
his  leisure ;  his  chief  duties  consisted  in  posturing,  and  wearing  a  suit 
of  gaudy  clothes.  From  his  lofty  point  of  view  my  education  seemed 
extremely  defective ;  he  therefore  set  himself  the  task  of  improving 
me,  that  is,  rendering  me  more  like  himself.  I  was  obliged  to  learn  a- 
number  of  exercises  by  a  process  of  torture  as  ingenious  as  it  was- 
devilish,  the  lessons  becoming  more  and  more  degrading.  O 
misery  !  I  was  soon  able  to  do  the  dead  hare  and  the  living  hare,  at. 
the  slightest  sign  from  my  master,  as  if  I  were  a  mere  dog.  My 
tyrant,  encouraged  by  the  success  I  owed  to  the  rigour  of  his  method,, 
added  to  this  series  of  lessons  what  he  termed  an  accomplishment : 
he  taught  me  the  art  of  fiendish  music.  In  spite  of  the  terror  I  felt, 
at  the  noise,  I  was  soon  able  to  perform  a  passable  roll  on  the  drum. 
This  new  talent  had  to  be  displayed  every  time  any  member  of  the 
royal  family  left  the  palace. 

"  One  .day,  it  was  Tuesday,  July  27,  1830  (I  shall  never  forget  that 
date)  the  sun  was  shining  gloriously.  I  had  just  finished  beating- 
the  roll  for  Monsieur  the  Duke  of  Angouleme.  My  nerves  were 
always  irritated  by  contact  with  the  donkey's  skin  of  the  drum.  All  at 
once  I  heard  guns  going  off.  They  seemed  to  be  approaching  the 
Tuileries  from  the  side  of  the  Palais  Royal. 

"  Dear  me !  I  thought,  some  unfortunate  hares  have  had  the- 
imprudence  to  show  themselves  in  the  streets  of  Paris,  where  there 
are  so  many  dogs  and  guns  and  sportsmen.  But  then  I  reflected  that 
most  of  the  latter  were  picturesque,  not  real  sportsmen,  who  had 
never  shot  a  hare.  The  dreadful  recollection  of  the  hunt  at  Ram- 
bouillet  froze  me  with  fright.  What  could  hares  possibly  have  done 
to  man  to  bring  down  such  vengeance  upon  them  1  I  instinctively 
turned  to  my  mistress  to  implore  her  protection,  when  I  beheld  her 
face  filled  with  terror  greater  than  my  own.  I  was  about  to  thank 
her  for  the  pity  she  felt  for  me,  when  I  perceived  that  her  fear  was; 
only  personal,  that  she  was  thinking  very  little  indeed  about  me,  and 
very  much  about  herself. 

"  These  gun-shots,  each  detonation  of  which  congealed  the  blood  in 
my  veins,  were  fired  by  men  on  their  fellows.  I  rubbed  my  eyes,  I 
bit  my  feet  till  they  bled,  to  assure  myself  I  was  not  dreaming.  I  can 
only  say,  like  Orgon — 

"  ' De  mes  propres  yeux  vu 

Le  qu'on  appelle  vu.' 


HISTORY  OF  A  HARE.  21 

"The  need  that  men  have  for  sport  is  so  pressing,  that  in  the 
absence  of  other  game  they  take  to  shooting  each  other." 

"  It  is  dreadful  to  think  of  the  depravity  of  human  nature,"  the 
Magpie  replied.  "I  am  positively  obliged  to  hide  myself  towards 
evening,  to  escape  the  last  shot  of  some  passing  sportsman,  whose  only 
reason  for  not  firing  at  a  magpie  would  be  to  save  his  gunpowder. 
In  all  probability,  the  wretch  who  might  bring  me  down  would  not 
think  even  me  good  enough  to  eat." 

"  What  is  still  more  singular,"  said  my  friend,  "  is  that  men  glory  in 
this  butchery,  and  a  great  'bag,'  filled  with  victims,  is  considered 
something  to  be  proud  of.  I  shall  not  weary  you  with  the  full 
history  of  the  Revolution  of  July,  although  many  details  remain 
unrecorded.  A  Hare,  although  a  lover  of  freedom,  would  hardly  be 
Accepted  as  an  historian." 

"  What  is  a  revolution  of  July?"  inquired  the  little  Hare,  who,  like  all 
children,  only  listened  now  and  then  when  any  word  struck  him. 

"  Will  you  be  quiet?  "  said  his  brother  ;  "grandfather  has  just  told 
us  that  it  is  a  time  when  every  one  is  frightened." 

"  I  shall  content  myself  by  telling  you  that  the  struggle  continued 
three  whole  days.  My  ears  were  torn  with  the  mingled  noise  of 
drums,  cannon,  the  whistle  of  the  bullets,  and  the  sound  of  fierce 
.strife,  that  filled  Paris  like  the  breaking  of  angry  waves  on  a  rocky 
-shore. 

"While  the  people  fought  and  barricaded  the  streets,  the  Court  was 
at  St.  Cloud.  As  for  ourselves,  we  passed  a  fearful  night  at  the 
Tuileries.  Our  terror  seemed  to  prolong  the  darkness.  When  the 
dawn  came  at  last,  the  firing  was  renewed,  and  I  heard  that  the  Hotel 
de  Ville  had  been  taken  and  retaken.  I  no  doubt  would  have  felt 
grieved  at  all  this  had  I  been  able  to  go  away  like  the  Court,  but  that 
was  not  to  be  thought  of.  On  the  morning  of  the  2Qth  a  dreadful 
tumult  was  heard  under  the  windows,  followed  by  the  booming  of 
cannon,  and  dull  crash  of  iron  balls.  '  It  is  finished,  the  Louvre  is 
taken/ cried  my  master;  and  clasping  the  little  girl  in  his  arms,  he 
disappeared.  It  was  then  eleven  o'clock.  When  they  had  gone,  I 
realised  that  I  was  alone  and  helpless,  but  then  it  occurred  to  me, 
there  being  no  one  here,  I  have  no  enemies,  and  my  courage  rose  with 
the  reflection.  The  men  outside  might  kill  each  other,  and  thus 
•expend  their  ammunition  as  fast  as  they  chose — so  much  the  worse  for 
men,  and  the  better  for  Hares. 


22 


PUBLIC  AND  PRIVATE  LIFE  OF  ANIMALS. 


"I  was  hidden  beneath  the  bed,  for  the   room  was   invaded  by 
soldiers,  who  cried  in  a  strange  tongue,  'Long  live  the  King.'     'Cry 


away/  I  said,  '  it  is  easy  to  see  that  you  are  not  Hares,  and  that  the  king 
has  not  been  making  game  of  you.'      Soon  the  'redcoats'  disappeared, 


HISTORY  OF  A  HARE.  23 


and  a  poor  man — a  scholar,  I  believe — came  and  sought  shelter  in  my 
room.  He  had  no  taste  for  war ;  he  therefore  deposited  himself  in  a 
cupboard,  where  he  was  soon  discovered  by  a  crowd  of  bloodstained 
ruffians,  who  searched  everywhere,  crying  '  Liberty  !  long  live  Liberty  ! ' 
as  if  they  had  hoped  to  find  it  in  some  odd  corner  of  the  Tuileries. 
After  fixing  a  flag  out  of  the  window,  they  sung  a  striking  song,  com- 
mencing— 

"  '  Come  children  of  the  country, 
The  day  of  glory  has  arrived  ! ' 

Some  of  them  were  black  with  powder,  and  must  have  fought  as 
hard  as  if  they  had  been  paid  for  it.  I  thought  that  these  poor 
begrimed  creatures,  as  they  kept  continually  shouting  '  Liberty  ! '  must 
have  been  imprisoned  in  baskets,  or  shut  up  in  small  rooms,  and  were 
rejoicing  in  their  freedom.  I  felt  carried  away  by  their  enthusiasm, 
and  had  advanced  three  steps  to  join  in  the  cry  of  'Liberty!'  when  my 
conscience  arrested  me  with  the  question,  *  Why  should  I  ?' 

"  During  these  three  days — would  you  believe  it,  my  dear  magpie  ? 
— twelve  hundred  men  were  killed  and  buried." 

"Bah!"  I  said,  "the  dead  are  buried,  but  not  their  ideas  !" 

"  Hum  !  "  he  replied. 

"  Next  day  my  master  came  back :  he  had  not  shown  himself  for 
twenty-four  hours.  He  was  changed — he  had  '  turned  his  coat,'  an 
operation  which  cost  him  a  pang,  as  he  had  made  a  good  thing  out  of 
the  king's  livery.  Men  turn  their  coats  as  easily  as  the  wind  turns  the 
weathercock  on  yonder  <[>ire.  It  is  a  mean  artifice,  to  which  we 
could  not  descend  without  spoiling  our  fair  proportions. 

"I  learned  from  my  master's  wife  that  there  was  now  no  king. 
Charles  X.  had  gone  never  to  return,  and  the  worst  of  all  was,  that 
they  themselves  were  ruined.  You  observe,  the  downfall  of  the  king 
was  viewed  selfishly,  not  as  a  national  calamity,  but  simply  as  an 
event  which  blighted  their  own  fortunes.  That  is  the  way  of  men. 
Secretly  I  rejoiced  at  the  disaster,  as  it  rendered  rny  emancipation 
possible.  Alas !  my  dear  little  Hares,  Hares  propose,  and  man  dis- 
poses. Have  no  faith  in  the  liberty  born  of  the  blood  and  agony  of 
revolution.  The  change  wrought  by  strife  only  embittered  rny  lot. 
My  master,  who  had  never  been  taught  any  useful  occupation,  was 
reduced  to  living  on  his  wits,  which  served  him  so  badly,  as  to  leave 
him  often  without  bread.  He  was  brought  to  such  straits  as  we  Hares 
are  when  the  snow  lies  heavy  on  the  ground.  I  have  seen  his  poor 


24  PUBLIC  AND  PRIVATE  LIFE  OF  ANIMALS. 

child  weeping  for  the  food  that  men  often  find  so  difficult  to  procure. 
Be  thankful,  my  children,  that  you  are  not  men ;  and  that  you  can 
feed  on  the  simple  herbs  as  nature  has  provided  them.  Although 
suffering  from  hunger,  I  felt  many  a  bitter  pang  for  my  little  mistress. 
If  the  rich  only  knew  the  appetite  of  the  poor,  they  would  be  afraid 
of  being  devoured.  I  more  times  than  once  saw  my  master  eye  me  with 
ferocity.  A  famished  man  has  no  pity ;  I  believe  he  would  almost  eat 
his  own  children.  You  will  readily  understand,  therefore,  that  my  life 
was  in  the  greatest  danger.  May  you  ever  be  kept  from  the  peril 
of  becoming  a  stew." 

"  What  is  a  stew  1 "  inquired  the  little  Hare  in  a  loud  voice. 

"  A  stew  is  a  Hare  cut  up  and  cooked  in  a  pan.  A  great  man  once 
said  that  our  flesh  is  delicious,  and  our  blood  the  sweetest  of  all 
animals ;  but  he  adds  that  we  seem  to  be  aware  of  our  danger,  as  we 
sleep  with  our  eyes  open."  At  this  reply  the  audience  became  so 
quiet,  that  one  might  have  heard  the  grass  growing. 

"  Nothing  can  ever  make  me  believe,"  cried  the  old  Hare,  much 
moved  by  the  recollection  of  that  incident  in  his  life,  "  that  Hares 
were  created  to  be  cooked,  and  that  man  cannot  employ  himself  better 
than  by  eating  animals  in  many  respects  superior  to  him.  I  owe  my 
life  to  the  misery  that  reduced  me  to  skin  and  bone,  and  to  the  timely 
word  of  my  mistress  who  pleaded  for  my  life,  that  I  might  still  dis- 
play my  accomplishments.  '  Ah  ! '  said  my  master,  striking  his  forehead 
and  looking  dramatic,  as  Frenchmen  always  do  in  joy  or  sorrow,  '  I 
have  an  idea ' — that  was  for  him  a  sort  of  miracle.  From  that  day  I 
became  a  public  character,  and  the  saviour  of  the  family." 


HISTORY  OF  A  HARE.  25 


CHAPTER   III. 

Public  and  political  life. — His  master  becomes  his  charge. — Glory  nothing 
but  a  wreath  of  smoke. 

"I  SOON  discovered  my  destiny.  It  was  not  the  Tuileries  !  My  master 
had  made  a  little  house  of  four  boards,  which  he  set  up  in  the  Champs 
Elyse"es,  and  there,  beneath  the  blue  sky,  I,  a  denizen  of  the  forest  of 
Rambouillet,  was  exhibited  in  public  at  the  cost  of  my  proper  pride, 
natural  modesty,  and  health.  I  well  remember  my  master's  words 
just  before  I  made  my  cttbut. 

11 '  Bless  Heaven  ! '  he  said,  '  that  after  profiting  by  your  more  than 
ordinary  education,  you  have  fallen  into  the  hands  of  such  a  master. 
I  have  trained  you  and  fed  you  for  nothing.  The  moment  has  now 
arrived  for  you  to  prove  to  the  world  your  noble  sense  of  gratitude. 
When  I  caught  you,  you  were  rustic  and  uninstructed.  The  airs  and 
graces  which  you  have  acquired  were  taught  you  for  your  amusement. 
Now  they  will  enable  us  to  enter  upon  a  glorious  and  lucrative  career. 
It  has  always  been  understood  that  men,  sooner  or  later,  reap  the 
fruits  of  their  disinterestedness.  Remember  that  from  this  day  our 
interests  become  one.  You  are  about  to  appear  before  a  people,  the 
most  polished,  proud,  and  difficult  to  please,  and  all  that  is  required  of 
you  is  to  please  everybody.  Be  careful  never  to  mention  King 
Charles,  and  all  will  go  well,  as  crime  and  injustice  have  been 
abolished.  Do  your  part,  and  I  will  relieve  you  of  the  task  of  receiving 
the  money.  We  shall  never  make  millions ;  but  the  poor  manage  to 
live  upon  less/ 

"  'Ah  me  !'  I  said  to  myself,  'what  a  modest  speech  !  My  master 
is  a  bold  tyrant ;  to  hear  him,  one  would  think  that  I  had  voluntarily 
relinquished  my  liberty,  and  besought  him  to  snatch  me  away  from  all 
that  was  dear  to  me  in  life.'  For  all  that,  my  ddbut  was  a  most  bril- 
liant affair ;  I  became  the  rage  of  Paris.  During  three  years  I  beat 
the  roll-call  for  the  Ecole  Polytechnique,  Louis  Phillipe,  La  Fayette, 
Lafitte,  for  nineteen  ministers,  and  for  Napoleon  the  Great.  I 
learned — go  on  writing,  my  dear  Magpie — to  fire  cannon. 

"  For  a  long  time,  by  great  good  luck,  I  never  mistook  one  name 
for  another,  and  never  once  abused  the  trust  of  those  depending  on 
me.  My  master  praised  my  probity,  and  declared  me  incorruptible. 


26 


PUBLIC  AND  PRIVATE  LIFE  OF  ANIMALS. 


"  During  my  public  career  I  paid  some  attention  to  politics.     In  the 
Oriental  question  I  felt  deeply  interested.     It  was  at  last  settled  by 


diplornatic  subtlety,  to  the  satisfaction  of  the  Hares  of  all  nations.     In 
the  East  the  Hare  has  been  an  object  of  great  political  importance.     It 


HISTORY  OF  A  HARE.  27 

may  be  as  well  here  to  record  ray  conviction  that  there  is  no  reason  to 
dread  the  immediate  development  of  the  power  of  the  Ottoman 
Empire,  or  to  give  credence  to  the  report  that  a  cure  has  been 
discovered  for  the  moral  and  physical  obliquity  of  Mongolian  eyes. 

"  To  continue  my  narrative.  Once,  at  the  close  of  a  long  fatiguing 
day,  I  had  just  finished  the  fiftieth  representation,  and  obtained 
numerous  cheers  and  coppers.  The  two  candles  were  nearly  burned 
out,  when  my  master  insisted  on  my  firing  a  number  of  guns.  I  felt 
fagged  and  stupid.  At  the  words,  '  A  salute  for  Wellington/  I  ought 
to  have  refused  to  fire ;  but  bang  went  the  gun.  I  was  accused  of 
treachery  by  the  crowd,  who  hurled  my  master,  show  and  all,  into  the 
middle  of  the  road.  As  for  myself,  I  fell  pell-mell  with  money, 
candles,  and  theatre.  St.  Augustine  and  Mirabeau  were  right  when 
they  said,  each  in  his  own  way,  '  That  glory  is  nothing  but  a  wreath 
of  smoke/  or  like  a  candle  that  may  be  extinguished  by  the  slightest 
breath  of  adversity.  Happily,  fear  gave  me  courage.  Amid  the 
tumult  I  sought  safety  in  flight.  Hardly  fifty  feet  from  the  scene  of 
my  fame,  I  still  heard  the  clamour  of  the  angry  crowd.  About  to 
cross  the  road  at  a  single  bound,  I  was  caught  between  the  legs  of 
some  one,  who,  like  myself,  seemed  to  be  fleeing  from  the  fray.  My 
speed  was  so  rapid,  and  the  shock  so  violent,  that  I  rolled  into  the 
ditch,  carrying  the  owner  of  the  legs  with  me.  My  doom  was  sealed, 
I  thought.  Mi- n  are  far  too  proud  not  to  resent  being  brought  low  by 
a  poor  Hare.  My  life  will  be  sacrificed  ! '' 


CHAPTER  IV. 

"  Birds  of  a  feather  flock  together."— Our  hero  secures  the  friendship  of  a 
subaltern  Government   Clerk. — An   unfortuuate    death. —  Good-bye  to 

Paris. 

"I  COULD  hardly  believe  my  eyes — this  man,  of  whom  I  was  in  the 
greatest  dread,  was  himself  as  frightened  as  if  the  devil  had  got 
between  his  legs.  Good,  I  said,  my  lucky  star  has  not  left  me. 
This  old  gentleman  seems  to  have  adopted  my  theory  of  courage. 
Both  being  naturally  timid,  we  will  constantly  agree.  'Sir/  I 


28  PUBLIC  AND  PRIVATE  LIFE  OF  ANIMALS. 

whispered,  in  my  softest  and  most  reassuring  tones,  'I  am  unused 
to  addressing  your  fellow-men,  but  I  make  bold  to  speak  to  you, 
as,  if  we  are  not  blood  relations,  we  are  at  least  brothers  by  senti- 
ment. You  are  afraid,  you  cannot  deny  it !  and  your  emotion  renders 
you  all  the  more  worthy  in  my  eyes.' 

"  At  that  moment  a  carriage  passed,  and  by  its  light  I  perceived 
that  the  stranger  I  had  brought  down  was  the  wise  man  who  hid 
himself  in  the  cupboard  in  the  Tuileries,  and  who  had  been  one  of  the 
most  attentive  of  my  audience.  He  had  a  man's  body,  it  is  true,  but 
from  his  honesty,  and  the  gentle  expression  of  his  face,  I  felt  certain 
that  his  ancestors  had  belonged  to  our  race.  His  joy  was  great  when, 
regaining  his  habitual  calm,  he  recognised  in  me  his  favourite  actor. 
'  The  fear,'  he  said,  '  that  seized  upon  me  is  infinitely  worse  than  its 
cause.'  These  words  seemed  to  me  to  sound  the  very  depths  of  pro- 
fundity. I  felt,  for  the  first  time,  a  true  attachment,  and  permitted 
my  new  friend  to  carry  me  away.  I  soon  discovered  that  he  was 
extremely  humble  and  poor,  being  employed  as  a  sub-Government 
clerk.  He  was  bent  less  by  age  than  by  his  constant  habit  of 
saluting  every  one,  by  his  care  to  keep  his  head  lower  than  his 
superiors,  and  by  his  duty,  which  consisted  in  doing  the  work  of 
those  above  him,  as  well  as  his  own.  Next  to  his  son,  who  bore  a 
close  resemblance  to  him,  he  loved  what  he  called  his  garden,  a  small 
box  of  earth  at  the  window,  and  a  few  flowers,  which  opened  with  the 
sun.  They  were  the  little  censers  of  his  worship,  whose  fragrance 
ascended  to  heaven  with  his  morning  prayers.'' 

"  'My  dear  sir,'  said  one  of  our  neighbours,  an  actor  more  successful 
in  life  than  my  master,  '  you  are  far  too  modest ;  you  do  not  make 
enough  of  yourself.  I  was  once  modest  like  you,  but  I  cured  myself 
of  that  grave  defect.  Do  as  I  did — compel  the  world  to  accept  you  at 
your  own  value.  Speak  louder ;  bluster  about ;  give  yourself  full 
voice  and  swagger.  It  is  wonderful  how  it  tells,  although  the  voice 
owes  its  depth  to  the  emptiness  within,  and  the  swagger  to  the  fact 
that  without  it  your  natural  endowments  would  never  lift  you  from 
the  gutter.' 

"The  world  is  always  liberal  with  advice  to  the  poor;  but  my 
master  preferred  his  humble  position  to  all  the  riches  and  fame  that 
might  be  acquired  by  becoming  an  impostor,  whose  energies  would 
always  be  strained  to  enable  him  to  crow  lustily  from  his  own  dunghill. 

"  Our  life  was  a  very  regular  one.      The  father  left  early  for  his 


HISTORY  OF  A  HARE.  29 

office,  and  his  son  for  school.  I  was  left  alone  in  charge  of  our  room, 
and  should  have  felt  dull  had  not  the  quiet  and  rest  their  peculiar 
charm  after  the  fatigues  of  my  life  in  the  Champs  Elysees.  After  the 
day's  work  we  were  all  united  at  our  evening  meal,  a  most  frugal  one. 
I  was,  indeed,  often  afraid  of  being  hungry.  They  would  have  shared 
their  last  crust  with  me.  It  is  always  so  with  the  poor.  I  felt  nearer 
God  in  this  little  room  than  I  had  done  since  I  left  the  green  fields ; 
I  noticed  so  many  acts  of  self-denying  love. 

"  One  day  my  master  came  home  very  much  agitated,  and  burying 
his  head  in  his  hands,  exclaimed,  '  My  God  !  they  talk  of  another 
change  of  Ministry ;  if  I  lose  my  place,  what  will  become  of  us  ?  We 
have  no  money  ! '  '  My  poor  father/  said  the  son,  '  I  will  work  for 
you.  I  am  big,  and  can  make  money.'  'No,  my  boy,  you  are  still 
young,  and  know  nothing  of  the  world.'  '  But,  father,'  he  continued, 
'  why  not  go  to  the  king,  and  ask  him  for  money  r\ '  My  master  said, 
'  They  are  only  beggars  who  live  upon  their  miseries  ;  and  besides,  the 
king  has  his  own  poor  relations  to  provide  for.' 

"  Since  the  rich  have  always  their  poor  relations,  why  have  not  the 
poor  their  rich  ones  ? " 

"Tell  me,"  said  the  little  Hare,  who  had  slipped  behind  her  grand- 
father, so  as  to  shout  into  his  ear  ;  "  You  talk  of  king  and  ministers — 
who  are  they  1 " 

"  Be  quiet,"  replied  the  old  Hare,  "  it  cannot  be  of  any  consequence 
to  you  who  or  what  the  king  is.  It  is  not  yet  certain  whether  he  is  a 
person  or  a  thing.  As  to  the  ministers,  they  are  the  gentlemen  who 
cause  others  to  lose  their  places,  until  they  have  lost  their  own." 

"  Ah  me  !  "  said  the  little  one,  much  satisfied  with  his  explanation ; 
"  never  let  it  be  said  that  it  is  useless  to  speak  seriously  to  children." 

"  The  fatal  day  came  at  last.  My  master  lost  his  place  by  a  change 
of  Ministry,  and  soon  after  died  of  a  broken  heart.  His  poor  son  was 
not  long  in  following  him  to  the  grave.  I  was  left  alone  in  the  empty 
room,  as  everything  was  taken  and  sold  to  meet  the  funeral  expenses. 
I  should  myself  have  been  sacrificed  had  I  not  escaped  after  nightfall, 
and  sped  through  the  streets  of  Paris,  scarcely  halting  to  take  breath 
until  beyond  the  Arc  de  1'Etoile.  There  I  paused  for  a  moment, 
casting  a  look  of  compassion  on  the  great  city  wrapped  in  slumber 
beneath  a  dark  cloud,  that  shut  out  heaven  from  its  view." 


30  PUBLIC  AND  PRIVATE  LIFE  OF  ANIMALS. 


CHAPTEB  V. 

Return  to  the  fields. — The  worthlessness  of  men  and  other  animals. — A  Cock, 
accustomed  to  the  ring,  provokes  our  hero. — Duel  \vith  pistols. 

"  I  SOON  reached  a  wood,  and  felt  my  chest  expand  with  the  pure  air. 
It  was  so  long  since  I  beheld  the  full  extent  of  the  sky,  that  I  seemed 
to  look  upon  it  for  the  first  time.  The  moonlight  was  bright,  and  vthe 
night-breeze  laden  with  a  banquet  of  fresh  odours  that  it  had  caught 
up  about  the  fields  and  hedgerows.  Endowed  by  nature  with  an  acute 
sense  of  smell,  nothing  could  be  more  delicious  to  a  weary  Hare  than 
the  fresh  fragrance  of  grass  and  thyme.  Each  breath  I  inhaled  filled 
me  with  the  fond  memories  of  my  childhood,  which  passed  into  my 
dreams  as  I  slept  in  the  open  air.  Early  next  morning  I  was  roused 
by  the  clang  of  steel.  Two  gentlemen  were  fighting  with  swords, 
and  appeared  to  me  determined  to  kill  each  other;  however,  when 
they  were  tired  of  fencing,  they  walked  off  quietly  arm-in-arm.  Other 
combatants  followed,  but  not  one  fell,  and  no  blood  was  spilt  in  these 
affairs  of  honour,  after  nights  of  gambling  and  debauchery. 

"  Journeying  onward  until  within  sight  of  a  village,  I  fell  in  with  a 
Cock.  As  I  had  been  cooped  up  in  a  town,  and  seen  nothing  but  men 
and  women  for  so  long,  this  bird  interested  me  greatly.  He  was  a 
fine  fellow,  high  on  his  legs,  and  carried  his  head  as  if  he  could  not 
bend  his  neck.  He  had  quite  a  martial  bearing,  reminding  one  of  a 
French  soldier. 

"  '  By  my  comb  ! '  he  exclaimed,  '  I  hope  you  will  know  me  again. 
I  never  came  across  a  Hare  with  such  a  stock  of  assurance.' 

"  '  What ! '  I  replied,  *  may  I  not  admire  your  fine  proportions.  I 
have  been  so  long  in  Paris,  I  have  quite  forgotten  the  grandeur  of 
nature.' 

"Would  you  believe  it?  Although  my  answer  was  so  soft  and 
simple,  yet  the  fellow  was  offended,  crowed  like  to  split  my  ears,  and 
cried,  '  I  am  the  Cock  of  the  village,  and  it  shall  never  be  said  that  a 
miserable  Hare  can  insult  me  with  impunity.' 

"  '  You  astonish  me,'  I  continued,  '  I  never  intended  to  insult  you.' 

"  '  I  have  nothing  to  do  with  your  intentions.  Every  insult  ought  to 
be  wiped  out  with  blood.  I  am  rather  badly  off  for  a  fight,  and  I  shall 


HISTORY  OF  A  HARE.  31 

have  much  pleasure  in  giving  you  a  lesson  in  good  manners.  Choose 
your  arms.' 

"  '  I  would  rather  die  than  fight.  Let  me  pass — I  am  going  to 
Kambouillet  to  rejoin-some  old  friends.' 

"  *  Fight  you  must,  else  I  will  put  a  ball  through  you.  Here  are  an 
Ox  and  a  Dog,  who  will  serve  as  seconds.  Follow  me,  and  do  not 
attempt  to  escape.' 

"  What  could  I  do  1  flight  was  impossible — I  obeyed.  Then  address- 
ing the  seconds,  I  said,  '  Sirs,  this  Cock  is  a  professed  duellist.  Will 
you  stand  by  and  see  me  assassinated?  I  have  never  fought,  and 
my  blood  will  be  on  your  heads.' 

»  "  '  Bah  ! '  said  the  Dog,  '  that  is  a  trifle.  Everything  must  have  a 
beginning.  Your  simple  candour  interests  me.  I  will  stand  by  you. 
Now  that  I  am  certain  of  you,  it  concerns  my  honour  that  you  should 
fight.' 

"  '  You  are  extremely  polite,  and  I  am  touched  with  your  goodness  ; 
but  I  would  rather  deny  myself  the  pleasure  of  having  you  witness  my 
death.' 

"  *  Hear  him,  my  dear  Ox,'  cried  my  adversary.  '  In  what  times  do 
we  live  1  Has  it  positively  come  to  this,  that  cowardice,  impudence, 
and  low-bred  nature  are  to  triumph  over  all  that  is  chivalrous  and  noble 
in  the  world  ? ' 

"  The  pitiless  Ox  bellowed  with  rage.  The  Dog,  taking  me  aside, 
said  in  a  soothing  tone,  '  It  makes  little  odds  in  the  end  liow  one  dies  ; 
and  between  us  two,  I  don't  half  like  this  Cock.  Believe  me,  I  heartily 
wish  you  success.  Were  I  a  sporting  Dog,  you  might  doubt  my 
sincerity,  but  I  have  settled  down  to  a  country  life,  that  would  be 
quiet  were  it  not  for  the  early  crowing  of  your  foe,  who  permits  no 
one  in  the  village  to  sleep  after  daybreak.' 

"  '  I  shall  never  be  able  to  get  through  it,'  I  replied,  half  dead. 

"  '  You  have  the  choice  of  weapons.  Choose  pistols,  and  I  will  load 
them.' 

"  '  In  the  name  of  all  that  is  canine  and  good,'  I  said,  '  try  and 
arrange  this  affair.' 

"  *  Come,  make  haste,'  cried  the  Cock.  *  Enter  this  copse  !  One  of 
us  will  never  leave  it ! '  he  added. 

"At  these  words  I  felt  a  cold  chill  run  through  me.  As  a  last 
resource,  I  reminded  the  Ox  and  Dog  of  the  law  against  duelling. 

"  '  Those  laws  are  made  by  cowards,'  they  replied. 


PUBLIC  AND  PRIVATE  LIFE  OF  ANIMALS. 


"  I  endeavoured  to  work  upon  the  tenderest  feelings  of  my  adver- 
sary's nature  by  inquiring  what  would  become  of  his  poor  hens  should 
he  fall.  All  was  in  vain.  Twenty-five  paces  were  marked  off;  the 
pistols  were  loaded,  and  we  took  our  places. 


BOIS 

DE 
BOULOGNE. 


' '  Are  you  used  to  this  arm  ? '  said  the  Dog. 

1 '  Alas !  yes ;  but  I  have  neither  aimed  at  nor  wounded  any  one.' 

good  luck  would  have  it,  I  had  to  fire  first. 


HISTORY  OF  A  HARE.  33 

"  *  Take  good  aim/  said  the  Dog,  '  I  detest  this  fellow.' 

" '  Why  on  earth,  then,  don't  you  take  my  place  ?  Are  you  still 
at  enmity  with  me/  I  said  to  my  foe.  '  Let  us  kiss  and  forget  all.' 

"  '  Fire  ! '  he  replied,  cursing  fearfully. 

"  This  roused  me.  The  Ox  retired  and  gave  the  signal ;  I  pressed 
the  trigger,  and  we  both  fell — I,  from  emotion,  and  the  Cock  from  the 
ball  that  pierced  his  heart." 

"  *  Hurrah  ! '  cried  the  Dog. 

"  *  Silence,  gentlemen/  I  said,  '  this  is  no  time  for  rejoicing.'  But  he 
was  a  jolly  dog,  and  light-hearted. 

" '  Bravo  ! '  said  the  Ox,  '  you  have  rendered  a  public  service.  I 
shall  be  glad  if  you  will  dine  with  me  this  evening.  The  grass  is 
particularly  tender  in  this  neighbourhood.' 

"  I  declined  the  invitation  and  said,  '  May  the  blood  of  this  miserable 
bully  be  upon  your  heads.  Gentlemen,  good  morning.' 

"  My  journey  to  Eambouillet  was,  as  you  may  be  certain,  a  sad  one. 
It  was  long  before  the  dread  image  of  my  dead  enemy  vanished  from 
my  eyes.  The  freshness  and  beauty  of  nature  at  last  acted  as  a  balm 
to  my  spirits ;  and  ere  I  reached  the  forest,  with  all  its  souvenirs  of  my 
youth,  my  troubles  were  forgotten.  Some  months  after  my  return,  I 
had  the  pleasure  of  becoming  a  father,  and  soon  after  a.  grandfather. 
You  know  the  rest,  my  dear  children,  so  now  you  are  at  liberty.'1 
At  these  words  his  audience  awoke. 

"  Since  my  return,  my  dear  Magpie,  I  have  had  leisure  for  reflec- 
tion, and  have  come  to  the  conclusion  that  true  happiness  is  not  to  be 
found  in  this  world.  If  it  does  exist  at  all,  it  is  most  difficult  to  attain, 
and  the  most  fleeting  possession  of  our  animal  nature.  Philosophic 
men  without  number  have  wasted  their  lives  in  vainly  attempting  to 
discover  some  clue  to  the  mystery,  and  all  to  no  purpose.  Some  of 
them  would  fain  have  us  believe  that  they  had  nearly  created  a 
heaven  for  themselves  where  self-love  had  only  set  up  its  own  image 
as  its  god.  Other  men  demand  happiness  of  heaven  as  if  it  were  a 
debt  owed  them  by  its  Divine  Ruler,  and  probably  the  wisest  section 
settle  down  to  enjoy  the  pleasures  which  life  undoubtedly  affords,  and 
to  make  the  best  of  *  the  ills  that  flesh  is  heir  to.' 

"  I  believe,  on  the  whole,  that  our  lives,  although  they  have  their 
disadvantages,  are  pleasanter  than  the  lives  of  men,  for  this  reason. 
The  present  is  to  us  everything.  We  live  for  to-day.  Men  live  for 
to-morrow.  The  to-morrow  that  is  to  be  brimful  of  joy.  Alas  !  thus 

c 


34 


PUBLIC  AND  PRIVATE  LIFE  OF  ANIMALS. 


human  hope  is  carried  on  through  all  the  days  of  life  ;  but  the  joy  is 
never  realised,  and  the  hope  goes  with  men  beyond  the  grave." 


THE    FjLlQHT    OF    A    PAFJIglAN    JBlRD 


IN  SEARCH  OF  BETTER   GOVERNMENT. 


PARISIAN  Sparrows  have  long  been 
recognised  as  the  boldest  of  the 
feathered  tribe.  Thoroughly  French, 
they  have  their  follies,  and  their  vir- 
tues to  atone  for  them ;  but  above 
all,  they  have  been  for  many  genera- 
tions objects  of  envy  to  the  birds  of 
foreign  climes.  This  latter  reflection 
is  sufficient  to  account  for  all  the 
calumnies  heaped  upon  them  by  their 
>  enemies.  They  who  dwell  amid  the 
splendour  of  the  capital,  are  a  happy 
tribe.  As  for  myself  I  am  one  of  the 

number  of  distinguished  metropolitan  birds.  Of  a  naturally  gay 
disposition,  an  unusually  liberal  education  has  lent  gravity  to  my 
appearance.  I  have  been  fed  on  crumbs  of  philosophy ;  having  built 
my  nest  in  the  spout  of  an  illustrious  writer's  dwelling.  Thence  I  fly 
to  the  windows  of  the  Tuileries,  and  compare  the  anxieties  of  the 
palace  and  the  fading  grandeur  of  kings,  with  the  immortal  roses, 
'budding  in  the  simple  abode  of  my  master,  which  will  one  day 
wreathe  his  brow  with  an  undying  glory. 

By  picking  up  the  crumbs  that  have  fallen  from  this  great  man's 
table,  I  myself  have  become  illustrious  among  the  birds  of  my  feather, 
who,  after  mature  deliberation,  have  appointed  me  to  select  the  form  of 
government  calculated  to  promote  -the  welfare  of  sparrows.  The  task 
implied  is  a  difficult  one,  as  my  constituents  never  remain  long  on  one 
perch,  chattering  incessantly  when  their  liberty  is  threatened,  and 
fighting  among  themselves  almost  without  cause. 


36  PUBLIC  AND  PRIVATE  LIFE  OF  ANIMALS. 

The  birds  of  Paris,  ever  on  the  wing,  have  many  of  them  settled 
down  to  thinking,  and  are  now  giving  their  attention  to  such  subjects 
as  religion,  morality,  and  philosophy. 

Before  residing  in  the  spout — in  the  Rue  de  Rivoli — I  made  my 
escape  from  a  cage  in  which  I  had  been  imprisoned  for  two  years. 
Every  time  I  felt  thirsty,  I  had  to  draw  water  to  amuse  my  master, 
one  of  those  bearded  animals  who  would  have  us  believe  they  are 
the  lords  of  creation.  As  soon  as  I  regained  my  liberty,  I  related 
my  sad  story  to  some  friends  in  the  Faubourg  St.  Antoine,  who 
treated  me  with  great  kindness.  It  was  then,  for  the  first  time,  I 
observed  the  habits  of  the  bird-world,  and  discovered  that  the  joy  of 
life  does  not  consist  in  simply  eating  and  drinking.  I  was  led  to 
believe  that  even  the  life  of  the  sparrow  has  higher  ends,  and  to  form 
convictions  which  have  added  greatly  to  my  fame. 

Many  a  time  have  I  sat  on  the  head  of  one  of  the  statues  of  the- 
Palais  Koyal,  where  I  might  be  seen  with  my  plumes  ruffled,  my  head 
between  my  shoulders,  and,  with  one  eye  closed  on  the  world,  reflect- 
ing on  our  rights,  our  duties,  and  our  future.  Grave  questions  forced 
themselves  upon  me.  Where  do  sparrows  come  from1?  Where  do- 
th ey  go-  to  ?  Why  can't  they  weep  ?  Why  don't  they  form  themselves 
into  societies  like  crows  1  Why  don't  French  sparrows  settle  every- 
thing by  arbitration,  since  they  enjoy  such  a  sublime  language  ? 

Great  changes  were  taking  place  around ;  houses  were  supplanting 
gardens,  and  depriving  birds  of  the  insects  and  grubs  found  in  the 
shrubs  and  soil.  The  result,  as  might  have  been  expected,  was  to  draw 
the  line  still  more  markedly  between  the  rich  and  poor,  and  to  set  up 
"caste"  as  it  exists  among  certain  types  of  the  human  race.  The 
sparrows  in  the  densely-populated  quarters  were  reduced  to  living  on 
offal,  while  the  aristocracy  fed  daintily,  and  perched  as  near  heaven  as 
the  trees  of  the  Champs  d'Elyse"es  would  allow  them. 

This  defective  constitution  could  not  last  long;  one  half  of  the 
feathered  tribe  chirping  joyously  in  the  fulness  of  their  stomachs, 
surrounded  by  superb  families,  and  the  other  half  brawling  and 
clamouring  for  filthy  refuse.  The  latter,  driven  to  desperation,  deter- 
mined indeed  to  use,  if  need  be,  their  horny  beaks  to  improve  their 
social  condition. 

With  this  laudable  object  in  view,  a  deputation  waited  on  a  bird 
who  had  lived  in  the  Faubourg  St.  Antoine,  and  assisted  at  the  taking 
of  the  Bastille.  This  bird  was  appointed  to  the  command  of  the 


THE  FLIGHT  OF  A  PARISIAN  BIRD.  37 

sufferers,  who  organised  themselves  into  a  body,  each  one  feeling  the 
necessity  of  implicit  obedience. 

Judge  of  the  surprise  of  the  Parisians  who  beheld  thousands  of 
small  birds  ranged  on  the  roofs  of  the  houses  in  the  Rue  de  Rivoli ; 
the  right  wing  towards  the  Hotel  de  Ville,  the  left  on  the  Madeleine, 
And  the  centre  on  the  Tuileries.  The  aristocratic  birds,  seized  with 
panic-fear  at  sight  of  this  demonstration,  and  dreading  the  loss  of 
their  power  and  position,  despatched  a  fledgling  of  their  number  to 
address  the  rioters  in  these  words  : — "  Is  it  not  well  that  we  should 
reason  together  and  not  fight  ?  " 

The  rioters  turned  their  eyes  upon  me.  Ah !  that  was  one  of  the 
proudest  moments  of  my  life :  I  was  elected  by  my  fellow-citizens 
to  draw  up  a  charter  to  conciliate  all,  and  settle  differences  among 
the  most  renowned  sparrows  in  the  world,  sparrows  who  for  a  moment 
were  divided  on  the  question  "  how  to  live,"  the  eternal  backbone  of 
political  discussions. 

Those  birds  in  possession  of  the  enchanting  abodes  of  the  capital, 
had  they  any  absolute  right  to  their  property  ?  Why  and  how  had 
caste  become  established  1  Could  it  last?  Were  perfect  equality 
established  among  Parisian  sparrows,  what  form  would  the  new  govern- 
ment assume  1  Such  were  the  questions  asked  by  both  parties.  "  But," 
said  the  hedge-Sparrows,  "  the  earth  and  all  its  riches  should  be  equally 
divided."  "  That  is  an  error,"  said  the  privileged  ones ;  "  we  live  in 
a  city,  and  are  subject  to  the  restraints,  as  well  as  to  the  refinement,  of 
society ;  whereas  you  in  your  condition  enjoy  greater  freedom,  and 
ought  to  content  yourselves  with  the  hedgerows  and  fields,  and  all 
that  satisfies  untutored  nature." 

Thereupon  a  general  twittering  threatened  to  lead  to  hostilities,  but 
the  popular  tumult  with  sparrows,  as  with  man,  is  the  labour-pangs 
of  national  deliverance,  and  brings  forth  good.  A  proposition  was 
carried,  to  send  an  intelligent  bird  to  examine  the  different  forms  of 
government.  I  had  the  honour  of  being  selected  for  the  post,  and  at 
once  started  on  my  mission.  What  would  one  not  sacrifice  for  his 
country  ?  To  tell  the  truth,  the  position  was  one  which  conferred 
both  dignity  and  emolument.  Let  me  now  lay  the  report  of  my 
travels  as  an  humble  offering  on  the  altar  of  my  country. 


38  PUBLIC  AND  PRIVATE  LIFE  OF  ANIMALS. 


THE  ANTS'  FORM  OF  GOVERNMENT. 

After  traversing  the  sea,  not  without  difficulty  and  danger,  and 
experiencing  many  of  those  adventures  which  take  the  place  of  genuine 
information  in  modern  books  of  travel,  I  arrived  at  an  island  called 
Old  Frivolity.  Why  it  should  be  termed  old  I  could  never  make- 
out,  as  it  is  said  that  the  world  was  created  all  at  once.  A  Carrion-Crowr 
whom  I  met,  pointed  out  the  government  of  the  ants  as  a  suitable 
model,  so  you  may  understand  how  eager  I  was  to  study  their 
system,  and  discover  their  secrets.  On  my  way  I  fell  in  with  scores- 
of  ants  travelling  for  pleasure.  They  were  all  of  them  black  and 
glossy,  as  if  newly  varnished,  but  utterly  devoid  of  individuality,  being; 
all  alike.  After,  indeed,  one  has  seen  a  single  ant,  one  knows  all  the 
others.  They  travel  coated  with  a  liquid  which  keeps  them  clean. 
Should  one  meet  an  ant  in  his  mountains,  on  the  water,  or  in  his  city- 
dwelling,  his  get-up  is  irreproachable.  Care  is  even  bestowed  on  the 
cleanliness  of  his  feet  and  mandibles.  This  affectation  of  outward 
purity  lowered  them  in  my  estimation.  I  inquired  of  the  first  ant  I 
met,  "  What  would  happen  to  you  were  you  for  an  instant  to  forget 
your  careful  habits  ? "  He  made  no  answer ;  I  discovered,  indeed, 
that  they  never  exchange  a  word  with  any  one  to  whom  they  have 
not  been  formally  introduced.  I  fell  in  with  an  intelligent  Coralline- 
of  the  Polynesian  Ocean,  who  informed  me  that  she  had  been  arrested 
by  the  fishes  when  engaged  in  raising  the  coral-foundation  on  which. 
a  new  continent  was  to  repose.  She  mentioned  a  curious  fact  relating 
to  the  government  of  the  ants,  namely,  that  they  confer  the  right  upon 
their  subjects  to  annex  all  new  lands  as  soon  as  they  appear  above  sea- 
level.  I  now  found  out  that  Old  Frivolity  was  so  named  to  distinguish 
it  from  New  Coral-reef  Island.  I  may  mention  in  passing,  that  these 
are  private  confidences,  and  caution  my  noble  constituents  not  to  abuse 
them. 

As  soon  as  I  set  foot  on  the  island,  I  was  assailed  by  a  troop  of 
strange  animals — government  servants — charged  with  introducing  you 
to  the  pleasures  of  freedom,  by  preventing  you  carrying  certain  contra- 
band objects  you  had  set  your  heart  upon.  They  surrounded  mer 
compelled  me  to  open  my  beak  in  order  that  they  might  look  down  my 
throat  in  case  I  should  be  carrying  prohibited  wares  inland.  As  I 
proved  to  be  empty,  I  was  permitted  to  make  my  way  to  the  seat  of 
the  government,  whose  liberty  had  been  so  lauded  by  my  friend  the  Crow, 


THE  FLIGHT  OF  A  PARISIAN  BIRD. 


39 


Nothing  surprised  me  more  than  the  extraordinary  activity  of  the 
people.  Everywhere  were  ants  coming  and  going;  loading  and  unload- 
ing provisions.  Palaces  and  warehouses  were  being  built ;  the  earth, 


indeed,  was  yielding  up  all  its  finest  materials  to  aid  them  in  the 
construction  of  their  edifices.  Workmen  were  boring  underground, 
making  tunnels  to  relieve  the  traffic  on  the  surface  of  the  island.  So 
much  taken  up,  indeed,  was  every  one  with  his  own  business,  that  my 


40  PUBLIC  AND  PRIVATE  LIFE  OF  ANIMALS. 

presence  was  not  noticed.  On  all  sides,  ships  were  leaving  laden  with 
ants  for  the  colonies,  or  with  merchandise  destined  for  foreign 
shores ;  vessels  were  crowding  into  the  ports,  bearing  produce  from 
distant  parts  of  the  world  \  messages  were  flashing  from  agents  abroad, 
telling  merchants  of  the  abundance  of  products  that  might  almost  be 
had  for  the  lifting.  So  clever  are  these  ants  in  everything  connected 
with  commerce,  that  whenever  they  receive  a  message,  they  send  off 
their  vessels,  laden  with  cheap  wares  which  they  sell  to  weak  races  at 
the  highest  market  prices.  Some  semi-savage  nations  assert  that  the 
strong  drink  the  ants  export  is  too  potent,  and  that  the  narcotic  they 
extract  from  a  certain  plant,  which  is  watered  by  the  sweat  of  a  servile 
race,  affords  a  powerful  stimulant  to  national  decay, — is,  in  fact,  a 
physical  and  moral  poison.  To  this,  diplomatists  reply  that  the  trade 
is  lucrative,  that  there  is  a  demand  for  the  narcotic,  and  that  so  long  as 
the  demand  lasts  the  ants  must  supply  it  at  their  own  price.  There  are 
those  among  them  who  abhor  this  traffic,  and  condemn  it  as  a  moral 
slave-trade,  in  so  far  as  the  effect  of  the  narcotic  on  its  consumers  is  to 
render  them  its  bondsmen  for  life.  These  ants,  curiously  enough,  pro- 
fess the  Christian  religion,  and  send  propagandists  to  all  parts  of  the 
world.  For  all  that,  I  soon  found  out  that  many  of  them  are  idolaters, 
worshipping  gods  made  of  gold  by  themselves,  and  set  up  in  shrines 
called  banks  ;  other  idols,  called  "  consolidated  funds,"  railway  stocks, 
and  generally  sound  investments,  yield  their  owners  a  temporal  good, 
and  enable  them  to  "live  in  clover."  Other  idols,  again,  when  sunk 
in  foreign  loans  and  spurious  companies,  rebel  and  bring  down  all  sorts 
of  calamities  on  the  widows  and  orphans  of  the  most  industrious  ants 
of  the  island.  There  are  those  among  them,  whose  avocation  it  is  to 
make  these  images  out  of  clay  with  such  attractive  ingenuity  that, 
when  set  up  to  public  gaze,  worshippers  flock  to  the  shrines  and  take 
their  glitter  for  pure  gold;  these  gods  are  for  "raising  the  wind,"  but 
they  sometimes  bring  down  a  storm  and  are  overthrown,  crushing  in 
their  fall  thousands  of  poor  devotees. 

In  the  midst  of  the  general  activity  I  noticed  some  winged  ants ; 
and,  singling  out  one,  inquired  of  the  guard,  "Who  is  that  ant 
standing  unemployed  while  all  the  others  are  labouring  ? " 

"  Oh,"  he  replied,  "  that  is  a  noble  lord.  We  have  many  such  as  he, 
patricians  of  our  empire." 

"  What  is  a  patrician  ? "  I  asked. 

"  They  are  the  glory  of  the  land, — fellows  with  four  wings  who  fly 


THE  FLIGHT  OF  A  PARISIAN  BIRD.  41 

about  in  the  sun,  and  are  at  their  wits'  end  to  know  how  to  pass  the 
time  most  pleasantly." 

"Can  you  yourself  ever  hope  to  become  a  patrician  if  you  work 
hard?" 

"  Well,  no ;  not  exactly.     The  wings  of  patricians  are  natural ;  they 


run  in  the  families,  so  to  speak.  But  artificial  wings  may  be  ingrafted 
by  the  sword  of  the  sovereign  for  distinguished  service ;  these,  how- 
ever, are  never  strong  enough  to  enable  the  wearer  to  soar  clear  of  his 


42  PUBLIC  AND  PRIVATE  LIFE  OF  ANIMALS. 

plebeian  fellows  into  the  high  heaven  of  aristocracy.  I  must  tell 
you  that  some  of  the  four-winged  order  are  almost  indispensable 
to  the  state;  they  nurse  the  national  honour,  and  plan  our  cam- 
paigns." 

The  noble  ant  who  had  caused  my  inquiries  was  coming  towards- 
us.  The  common  ants  made  way  for  him  ;  these  working  ants  of  the 
lower  order  are  extremely  poor,  possessing  absolutely  nothing.  The 
patricians,  on  the  other  hand,  are  rich,  having  palaces  in  the  ant-hills, 
and  parks,  where  flies  are  reared  for  their  food  and  sport. 

The  ants  display  the  tenderest  regard  for  their  offspring ;  and  to  the 
care  bestowed  upon  the  training  of  the  young  they  attribute  their 
national  greatness.  It  is  astonishing  to  see  the  neuters  watching  over 
the  young.  In  place  of  sending — as  some  of  our  Parisian  sparrows  do — 
their  callow-brood  to  be  nursed  by  birds  of  prey,  they  themselves  tend 
the  orphans.  They,  indeed,  live  for  them,  sheltering  them  from  the 
cold  winds  that  sweep  their  island,  watching  for  the  fitful  gleams  of 
sunshine  to  lead  them  out.  These  ant-neuters  watch  with  pride  the 
growth  of  the  young  lives,  and  the  development  of  the  instinct  for  war 
and  conquest  in  the  young  brood ;  not  alone  the  conquest  of  lands  and 
races,  but  the  mastery  over  the  elements  of  nature  that  informs  them 
how  to  brave  the  worst  storms,  and  build  their  wonderful  ant-hills. 
These  nurses,  although  tender-hearted,  are  proud,  and  will  unflinchingly 
buckle  the  swords  on  to  their  favourites,  and  send  them  away  to  fight 
for  fame,  or  die  for  their  country.  From  the  point  of  view  of  a 
philosophical  French  sparrow,  all  this  seemed  to  me  strangely  conflict- 
ing, and  on  the  whole  a  sign  of  defective  national  character.  At  this- 
moment  the  patrician  ascended  one  of  the  city  fortifications  and  said  a 
few  words  to  his  subordinates,  who  at  once  dispersed  through  the 
ant-hill ;  and  in  less  time  than  I  take  to  write  I  noticed  detachments- 
issuing  from  the  stronghold,  and  embarking  on  straw,  leaves,  and  bits- 
of  wood.  I  soon  learned  that  news  of  a  defeat  had  arrived  from 
abroad,  and  they  were  sending  out  reinforcements.  During  the  pre- 
parations, I  overheard  the  following  conversation  between  two- 
officers : — 

"  Have  you  heard  the  news,  my  lord,  of  the  massacre  of  the  inno- 
cents by  the  savages  of  Pulo  Anto  ?  " 

"  Yes ;  we  shall  have  to  annex  the  territory  of  these  painted  devils,, 
and  teach  them  the  usages  of  civilisation." 

"  I   suppose   it   must  be   so ;    our  fellows   will   have   some  rough 


THE  FLIGHT  OF  A  PARISIAN  BIRD.  43 

work  in  the  jungle,  and  the  expedition  to  punish  a  handful  of  bar- 
barians will  cost  no  end  of  money,  and  some  good  lives." 

"  As  pioneers  of  progress,  \ve  must  be  prepared  to  sacrifice  something 
for  the  common  good,  and  our  men  are  in  want  of  active  service. 
Besides,  Pulo  Anto  is  a  rich  island,  and  will  yield  a  good  revenue." 

This  last  remark  was  very  much  to  the  point,  so  conclusive,  indeed, 
as  to  satisfactorily  terminate  the  dialogue.  Will  it  pay  ?  is  the  final 
question  which  settles  all  the  transactions  of  this  military  and  mer- 
cantile race.  I  imagined  that  the  noble  lord  spoke  of  the  "  common 
good  "  in  the  sarcastic  tone  peculiar  to  his  nation.  This  phrase  meant 
the  immediate  benefit  of  the  Ant  kingdom,  and  the  ultimate  dis- 
appearance from  the  face  of  the  earth  of  a  weak  neighbour.  The  ants 
carry  the  process  of  civilising  a  savage  nation  to  such  a  degree  of  refine- 
ment, that  the  subliming  and  re-subliminginfluences  of  contact  gradually 
cause  the  destruction  of  the  dross  of  savagedom  and  the  annihilation 
of  race.  It  seemed  to  me  that  what  the  ants  happen  to  like  they  look 
upon  as  their  own,  and  make  it  their  own  if  it  suits  their  convenience. 
They  extend  their  empire,  and  carry  warfare  and  commerce  into  the 
ant-hills  of  their  weaker  neighbours.  They  wax  stronger  and  richer 
year  by  year,  while  the  nations  with  which  they  trade,  many  of  them, 
grow  weaker  and  poorer. 

I  remarked  to  an  officer  that  the  aggressive  policy  of  his  government 
was  much  to  be  reprobated. 

"Well,"  he  replied,  "there  may  be  truth  in  what  you  say,  but  we 
must  obey  the  popular  voice,  open  new  fields  for  our  commerce,  and 
keep  our  army  and  navy  employed." 

"  You,  sir,  call  this  fulfilling  a  divine  mission ;  a  foreign  war  is  a 
sort  of  god-serid  to  keep  the  fighting  ants  employed.  You  go  on  the 
principle  of  the  surgeon  who  cuts  up  his  patients  to  keep  his  hand  in, 
and  his  purse  full.  Such  work  ought  to  be  left  to  the  butcher." 

"  Oh  no ;  you  labour  under  a  great  mistake.  I  own  we  do  some- 
thing in  the  way  of  vivisection,  just  as  would  the  skilful  surgeon  to 
increase  his  knowledge,  and  enable  him  to  heal  the  festering  sores  of 
humanity.  When  we  find  pig-headed  ants  or  deaths-head  moths  " 

"  What  are  pig-headed  ants  ? " 

"  A  species  of  insect  devoid  alike  of  reason  and  all  the  nobler 
qualities  which  we  ourselves  possess.  I  say,  when  we  find  them,  it 
becomes  our  duty  to  use  strong  measures  to  raise  their  condition,  or 
remove  them  out  of  our  way." 


44  PUBLIC  AND  PRIVATE  LIFE  OF  ANIMALS. 

"Just  as  a  physician  who  fails  to  effect  a  cure  would  feel  justified  in 
killing  his  patient  ?  " 

"Again,  sir,  you  misapprehend  my  meaning.  It  is  the  custom  of 
Parisian  sparrows,  when  they  clamour  for  liberty,  equality,  and 
fraternity,  to  kill  each  other,  in  order  to  purify  the  government. 
Having  no  real  grievances  at  home,  we  find  it  convenient  to  redress 
our  wrongs  and  seek  for  sweets  abroad.  Thus  we  preserve  our  inde- 
pendence, and  confer  a  benefit  on  the  world  at  large.  My  time  is 
precious — good  morning  ! " 

My  noble  constituents  will  readily  understand  how  I  stood  petrified 
at  the  audacity  of  this  fighting  ant,  who  stoutly  maintained  that  might 
alone  was  right,  and  that  his  corrupt  form  of  government  ought, 
forsooth,  to  be  set  up  as  a  model. 

I  had  it  in  my  mind  to  tell  him  that  the  chief  successes  of  his 
foreign  policy  were  effected  by  the  subtile  diplomacy  of  maintaining 
intestine  divisions  in  foreign  states.  In  this  way  the  time  of  their 
enemies  is  fully  occupied,  and  their  strength  weakened. 

But  he  retreated  before  superior  force,  well  knowing  that  his  argu- 
ments must  be  crushed  by  the  criticism  of  a  Philosophical  French 
Sparrow. 

I  afterwards  learned  that  the  officer  had  retired  to  his  property  in 
the  country,  "there,"  as  the  ants  would  say,  "to  practise  those  virtues 
God  has  imposed  upon  our  race." 

The  only  good  points  about  the  government  of  Old  Frivolity  lie  in  the 
protection  extended  to  the  meanest  subjects,  and  the  way  they  manage 
the  working  neuters,  in  making  them  pull  together  to  effect  great  ends. 
This  latter  would  prove  a  great  element  of  danger  were  it  introduced 
among  ingenious  Parisian  sparrows. 

I  started  much  impressed  with  a  sense  of  the  perfection  of  this 
oligarchy,  and  the  boldness  of  its  selfish  measures,  and  left  regretting 
that  in  governments,  as  in  individuals,  close  scrutiny  reveals  many 
defects. 


MONARCHY  OF  THE  BEES. 

Profiting  by  what  I  had  seen  in  the  Ants'  empire,  I  resolved  in 
future  to  observe  more  closely  the  habits  of  the  tribes,  before  trusting 
myself  to  princes  or  nobles.  On  reaching  this  new  dominion  I 
stumbled  against  a  bee  bearing  a  bowl  of  honey. 


,     THE  FLIGHT  OF  A  PARISIAN  BIRD.  45 

"  Alas  !  "  he  exclaimed,  "  I  am  lost." 

"  Why  ? "  I  asked. 

"  Do  you  not  see  I  have  spilt  the  queen's  soup,  happily  the  cup- 
bearer, the  Duchess  of  Violets,  will  attend  to  her  immediate  wants.  I 
should  die  of  grief  if  I  thought  my  faults  would  not  be  repaired." 

"  How  came  you  to  worship  your  queen  so  devoutly?  I  come  from  a 
country  where  kings  and  queens  and  all  such  human  institutions  are 
held  in  light  esteem." 

"  Human  ! "  cried  the  Bee  ;  "  know,  bold  Sparrow,  that  our  queen  and 
our  government  are  divine  institutions.  Our  queen  rules  by  divine 
prerogative.  Without  her  wise  rule  we  could  not  exist  as  a  hive. 
SI  le  unceasingly  occupies  herself  with  our  affairs.  We  are  careful  to 
feed  her,  as  we  are  born  into  the  world  to  adore,  serve,  and  defend  her. 
She  has  her  sons  and  daughters  for  whom  we  rear  private  palaces. 
The  latter  are,  too  frequently,  wedded  to  hungry,  petty  princes,  who 
thus  claim  our  service  and  support." 

"  Who  is  this  remarkable  queen  ?  " 

"  She  is,"  said  the  Bee,  "  Tithymalia  XVII.,  a  woman  endowed  with 
rare  wisdom ;  she  can  scent  a  storm  afar  off,  and  is  careful  to  lay  in 
stores  for  severe  winters.  It  is  said  also  that  she  has  treasures  in 
foreign  lands." 

Here  a  young  foreign  prince  came  forward,  and  cautiously  inquired 
if  we  thought  any  of  the  young  ladies  of  royal  blood  likely  to  want  a 
husband. 

"Prince,"  said  the  working  Bee,  "have  you  not  heard  of  the 
ceremonies  and  preparations  for  departure  ?  If  you  wish  to  court  any 
daughter  of  Tithymalia  you  had  better  make  haste.  You  are  well 
enough  in  your  appearance,  although  you  could  do  with  a  new  coat." 

I  beheld  a  splendid  spectacle.  One  of  the  princesses  was  about  to 
be  married.  The  pageant  on  which  I  gazed  must  have  a  powerful 
effect  on  the  vulgar  imagination,  and  wed  the  people  to  the  memories 
and  superstitions  which  are  about  the  only  links  uniting  the  higher 
with  the  lower  orders  of  society. 

Eight  drummers  in  yellow  and  black  jackets  left  the  old  city  called 
Sadrach — from  the  name  of  the  first  Bee  who  preached  social  order ; 
these  were  followed  by  fifty  musicians,  all  of  them  so  brilliant  that 
one  might  have  said  they  were  living  gems.  Next  came  the  body- 
guards armed  with  terrible  stings.  They  were  two  hundred  strong. 
Each  battalion  was  headed  by  a  captain,  wearing  on  his  breast  the 


46  PUBLIC  AND  PRIVATE  LIFE  OF  ANIMALS. 


THE  FLIGHT  OF  A  PARISIAN  BIRD.  47 

order  of  Sadrach — a  small  star  of  beeswax.  Behind  them  came  the 
queen's  dusters,  headed  by  the  grand  duster,  then  the  grand  tooth-pick- 
bearer,  cup-bearer,  eight  little  cup-bearers,  and  the  mistress  of  the 
Eoyal  House,  with  twelve  train-bearers,  and  lastly,  the  young  queen, 
beautiful  in  her  maidenly  grace,  her  true  modesty.  The  wings  which 
shone  with  great  splendour  had  never  yet  served  for  flight.  The 
queen-mother  accompanied  her,  robed  in  velvet,  aglow  with  diamond- 
dust.  Musicians  followed  humming  a  hymn  of  praise  composed  for 
the  occasion.  After  the  band  came  twelve  other  old  drones,  who 
seemed  to  me  to  be  a  sort  of  national  clergy.  They  were  all  alike  one 
to  the  other,  and  buzzed  uniformly  and  monotonously.  About  ten  or 
twelve  thousand  bees  marched  from  the  hive,  upon  the  edge  of  which 
stood  Tithymalia,  and  addressed  these  memorable  words  to  the 
multitude : — 

"  It  is  always  with  a  new  pleasure  that  I  witness  your  flight,  as  it 

secures  the  tranquillity  of  my  people,  and   that" She  was  here 

interrupted  by  an  old  drone  who  was  afraid  of  the  queen  using 
unparliamentary  language  —  at  least  so  I  thought.  Her  Majesty 
continued — "  I  am  certain  that,  trained  by  our  habits  of  thrift  and 
industry,  you  will  serve  God  and  spread  the  glory  of  His  name  on  the 
earth  which  He  has  so  enriched  with  honey-yielding  flowers.  May  you 
never  forget  the  honour  due  to  your  queen,  and  to  the  sacred  principles 
of  our  government.  Think  that  without  loyalty  there  is  anarchy,  that 
obedience  is  the  virtue  of  good  bees,  that  the  strength  of  the  state 
depends  upon  your  fidelity.  Know  that  to  die  for  your  queen  and  the 
church  is  to  give  life  to  your  land.  I  give  you  my  daughter 
Thalabath  as  queen.  Love  her  well !  " 

This  eloquent  speech  was  followed  by  loud  buzzing. 

As  soon  as  the  young  people  had  left  with  the  queen,  the  poor 
prince  I  had  noticed  buzzed  around  them,  saying,  "Oh  most  noble 
Tithymalia,  unkind  fate  has  bereft  me  of  the  power  of  making  honey, 
but  I  am  versed  in  economics,  so  if  you  have  another  daughter  with  a 
modest  dowry,  I  " 

"Do  you  know,  prince,"  said  the  grand  mistress  of  the  Royal  House 
"  that  with  us  the  queen's  husband  is  always  unfortunate.  He  is 
looked  upon  as  a  sort  of  necessary  evil,  and  treated  accordingly.  We 
do  not  suffer  him  to  meddle  with  the  government,  or  live  beyond  a 
certain  age." 

But  the  queen  heard  his  voice  and  said,  "  I  will  befriend  you,  you 


48  PUBLIC  AND  PRIVATE  LIFE  OF  ANIMALS. 

can  serve  me  ;  you  have  a  true  heart,  you  shall  wed  my  daughter, 
and  lend  your  pious  aid  to  the  work  of  our  kingdom/' 

This  cunning  prince,  one  of  no  mean  power,  had  fallen  in  love  with 
one  of  the  fair  princesses. 

There  is  one  remark  I  have  to  make  which  has  nothing  to  do  with 
government,  and  that  is,  that  love  is  the  same  everywhere.  Here  was 
a  fellow  who  had  winged  his  flight  from  a  foreign  land  to  bask  in  the 
sunshine  of  his  true  love,  follow  her  from  flower  to  flower,  sip  the 
nectar  from  the  same  cups ;  to  worship  even  her  shadow  as  it  flitted 
across  the  pale  lily,  or  kiss  her  footprints  on  the  dew-spangled  rose. 
Ah  me !  these  thoughts  send  a  tide  of  fond  memories  throbbing 
through  my  old  heart.  There  is  one  thing  certain,  on  my  return,  I 
must  have  a  commission  appointed  to  inquire  into  the  nature  of  this 
passion  among  men  and  bees. 

My  constituents  will  be  pleased  to  learn  that  my  fame  gained  me  a 
reception  in  the  palace.  I  had  despatched  a  bee  to  inform  Her 
Majesty  that  a  stranger  of  distinction  from  Paris  desired  to  be  pre- 
sented to  her. 

Before  being  led  into  the  audience-chamber,  several  magnificent 
bees  examined  me  to  make  certain  that  I  carried  no  dangerous  odour 
or  foreign  matter  about  my  person  to  soil  the  palace.  Soon  the  old 
queen  came  and  placed  herself  on  a  peach  blossom.  "  Great  Queen," 
I  said,  "  you  see  before  you  a  member  of  the  Order  of  Philosophical 
Sparrows,  an  ambassador  sent  to  study  the  governments  and  organisa- 
tion of  the  animal  kingdoms." 

"Great  ambassador,  wisest  of  birds,  my  life  would  be  a  dull 
one  were  it  not  for  the  cares  of  government  and  the  events  that 
compel  me  to  seek  retirement  twice  every  year.  Do  not  call  me 
Queen  or  Majesty,  address  me  simply  as  Princess,  if  you  wish  to 
please  me." 

"Princess,"  I  replied,  "it  seems  to  me  that  the  machine  you  call  the 
people  excludes  all  liberty.  Your  workers  do  always  the  same  thing, 
and  you  live,  I  see,  according  to  the  Egyptian  customs." 

"  That  is  true ;  but  order  is  the  highest  public  virtue.  Order  is  our 
motto,  and  we  practise  it,  while,  if  men  strive  to  follow  our  example, 
they  content  themselves  with  stamping  the  motto  on  the  buttons  of 
their  national  guards.  Our  monarchy  is  order,  and  order  is  absolute." 

"  Order  is  to  your  profit,  Princess.  The  bees  on  your  civil  list  are 
all  workers,  and  only  think  of  you." 


THE  FLIGHT  OF  A  PARISIAN  BIRD.  49 

"  What  else  would  you  have  ?  I  am  the  State ;  without  me  the 
State  would  perish.  In  other  realms  order  is  freely  canvassed,  and 
•each  one  follows  it  according  to  his  own  idea,  and  as  there  are  as 
many  orders  as  opinions,  constant  disorder  prevails.  Here  one  lives 
happily,  because  the  order  is  always  the  same.  It  is  much  better 
that  these  intelligent  bees  should  have  a  queen  instead  of  hundreds 
of  nobles  as  in  the  Ants'  kingdom.  The  Bee  world  has  so  many 
times  felt  the  danger  of  innovation,  that  it  no  longer  seeks  for  radical 
•change." 

"  It  is  unfortunate,"  I  said,  "  that  well-being  can  only  be  obtained 
by  a  cruel  division  of  castes.  My  bird's  instinct  revolts  at  the  notion 
of  such  inequality." 

"Adieu,"  said  the  queen;  "may  God  enlighten  you!  From  God 
proceeds  instinct ;  let  us  obey  Him.  If  it  were  possible  that  equality 
should  be  proclaimed,  should  it  not  be  first  among  us  whose  duties 
serve  a  great  end.  Our  affections  are  ruled  by  laws  the  most 
mathematical.  But  for  all  that,  the  hive  and  our  various  occupa- 
tions can  only  be  maintained  by  our  wise  system  of  government." 

"For  whom  do  you  make  your  honey1?  for  man!"  said  I.  "Oh, 
liberty ! " 

"  It  is  true  that  I  am  not  free,"  said  the  queen  ;  "  I  am  even  more 
bound  than  my  subjects.  Leave  my  State,  Parisian  Philosopher,  else 
you  may  yet  turn  some  weak  heads." 

"  Some  strong  heads,"  I  replied.  But  she  flew  away.  When  the 
queen  was  gone,  I  scratched  my  head,  and  made  a  peculiar  sort  of 
Flea  fall  out  of  it.  Being  a  perfectly  cosmopolitan  bird,  I  was 
about  to  enter  into  conversation  with  this  bloodthirsty  intruder, 
but  he  had  leaped  for  dear  life.  Gaining  confidence,  he  returned  and 
said  : — 

"  0  Philosopher  of  Paris,  I  am  only  a  poor  Flea,  who  has  made  a 
long  journey  on  the  back  of  a  Wolf.  I  have  listened  with  profound 
interest  to  your  remarks,  and  felt  honoured  while  I  sat  upon  your 
learned  pate.  If  you  desire  to  find  a  government  modelled  on 
your  own  principles,  go  through  Germany,  cross  Poland,  and  make 
your  way  to  Ukraine,  where  you  will  find,  in  the  administration  of  the 
Wolves,  the  noble  independence  you  require,  and  which  you  pointed 
out  to  that  old  twaddler  of  a  queen.  The  Wolf,  Sir  Bird,  is  the 
most  harshly-judged-of  animals.  Naturalists  quite  ignore  his  purely 
republican  principles,  for  he  devours  those  of  them  who  may  cross  his 

D 


50  PUBLIC  AND  PRIVATE  LIFE  OF  ANIMALS. 

path ;  but  he  cannot  kill  a  bird,  so  you  may  safely  trust  yourself  to- 
his  hospitality,  and  perch  on  the  back  of  the  proudest  of  them." 

THE  WOLVES'  EEPUBLIC. 

Parisian  Sparrows,  birds  of  every  clime,  animals  of  the  whole  world,, 
and  ye  petrified  relics  of  antediluvian  reptiles  and  monsters,  admira- 
tion would  seize  on  you  as  it  did  on  me,  could  you  behold  the  noble 
Wolves'  Republic — the  only  one  in  which  hunger  is  conquered — This 
is  what  elevates  the  animal  spirits. 

When  I  reached  the  magnificent  steppes  which  stretch  from  the- 
Ukraine  to  Tartary,  the  weather  was  already  cold,  and  I  felt  convinced 
that  the  privileges  of  the  subjects  must  be  great  to  compensate  for 
living  in  such  a  land. 

I  was  met  by  a  Wolf  on  guard.  "Wolf,"  I  said,  "the  cold  is- 
chilling  my  blood.  I  shall  die ;  and  let  me  tell  you,  my  death  will  be- 
a  loss  to  the  world  at  large.  I  am  a  traveller  of  renown  ! " 

"  Get  upon  my  back,"  said  the  Wolf. 

"Pardon  me,  citizen,  I  prefer  to  cultivate  your  acquaintance  afar 
off.  Perchance  you  wish  to  whet  your  appetite  with  such  a  dainty 
morsel  as  a  Parisian  Sparrow." 

"  What  manner  of  good  would  you  do  me,  stranger  ?  Should  I  eat 
you,  I  should  be  neither  more  nor  less  hungry.  You  are  evidently  a 
studious  Sparrow.  You  have  burned  the  midnight  oil,  and  offered  up 
every  drop  of  your  blood  on  the  shrine  of  science  or  literature.  Skin, 
bone,  and  feathers.  Ugh !  you  would  only  trouble  me  in  my  empty 
stomach,  and  there  study  out  at  leisure  the  various  odds  and  ends  of 
my  organisation.  No,  no  !  get  up ;  give  my  mouth  a  wide  berth ;  sit 
on  my  tail,  if  you  like  the  fur." 

Concealing  my  dread  of  his  hungry  fangs,  I  perched  lightly  on  the 
tail,  where  I  was  not  unfrequently  disturbed  by  the  tremor  of  his- 
emotions. 

Fellow  Sparrows,  the  tail  of  a  beast  of  prey  is  the  safest  perch,  and  it 
affords  a  true  index  of  the  play  of  passion  in  the  brute. 

"  What  are  you  doing  here  ? "  I  said,  to  renew  the  conversation. 

"  Well,"  said  he,  "  we  are  awaiting  some  visitors  at  yonder  castle, 
and  intend  to  devour  them,  horses,  coachmen,  and  all."  Here  the  tail 
whisked  so  briskly  that  I  had  difficulty  in  keeping  my  feet. 

"  That  would  be  an  extraordinary  proceeding.     Men,  to  be  sure,  are 


THE  FLIGHT  OF  A  PARISIAN  BIRD.  51 

our  foes,  and  you,  no  doubt,  perform   a  useful  function  in  keeping 
down  their  numbers.     As  they  are  Russians,  you  won't  eat  their  heads," 
said  I. 
"  Why  1 " 
"It  is  said  they  have  none." 

"  What  a  pity  !  That  will  be  a  loss  to  us,  but  that  won't  be  the  only 
one." 

"How  so?" 

"  Alas  ! "  said  the  Wolf,  "  many  of  ours  will  fall  in  the  attack,  but  it 
will  be  in  our  country's  cause.  There  are  only  six  men,  a  few  horses, 
and  some  provisions.  Too  few  !  too  few !  They  won't  serve  for  a 
meal  to  the  right  wing  of  our  army.  Bird,  believe  me,  we  are  nearly 
famished  !  " 

He  turned  and  showed  his  fangs  so  hungrily  that  I  almost  fainted 
with  fright.  "  We  have  had  nothing  to  eat." 

"  Nothing,"  I  said,  "  not  even  a  Russian  ? " 

"  No ;  not  even  a  Tartar.  Those  rogues  of  Tartars  scent  us  two 
miles  off." 

"  Well,  then,  how  do  you  manage  ? " 

"  The  young  and  strong  among  us  are  bound  to  fight  on  an  empty 
stomach.  She-wolves,  cubs,  and  veterans  must  feed  first." 

"That  is  a  fine  point  in  the  character  of  your  Republic." 

"  Fine  !  "  he  said  ;  "  why,  it  is  only  fair.  We  know  no  distinction 
other  than  that  of  age  and  sex  ;  all  are  equal." 

"  Why,"  said  I,  "  how  can  that  be  ? " 

"  Because  we  are  all  of  us  the  same  in  the  sight  of  God." 

"  And  yet  you  are  only  a  sentinel." 

"  Yes,  it  is  my  turn  to  be  on  guard." 

"  But,  General,"  said  I — here  the  fellow  pricked  up  his  ears,  and 
seemed  immensely  pleased  with  even  the  shadow  of  distinction  carried 
in  a  name — "  to-morrow  it  may  be  your  turn  to  command." 

"Exactly,  that's  how  we  square.  Your  intelligence,  Sir  Sparrow, 
does  your  nation  credit.  It  is  something  like  this.  When  in  danger 
we  meet  together,  and  elect  a  leader,  who,  after  the  peril  is  passed, 
falls  again  into  the  ranks." 

"Under  what  peculiar  circumstances  do  you  meet  ?  " 

"  When  there  is,  say,  a  famine,  to  forage  for  the  common  good.  In 
time  of  great  distress  we  share  and  share  alike.  But  do  you  know  we 
are  driven  to  the  direst  straits,  when,  as  frequently  happens,  the  snow 


52  PUBLIC  AND  PRIVATE  LIFE  OF  ANIMALS. 

lies  ten  feet  deep  on  the  ground ;  when  the  houses  are  covered,  and 
no   food   is   to   be   had  for  months.      Strange !  our  stomachs  grow 


smaller  and  we  crowd  together  for  warmth.     We  pull  together  wonder- 


THE  FLIGHT  OF  A  PARISIAN  BIRD.  53 

fully.  Since  the  Republic  was  formed,  the  wolves  have  abstained  from 
devouring  or  destroying  each  other.  This  ought  to  make  men  blush. 
The  wolves  are  each  and  every  one  sovereign.  They  govern  them- 
selves." 

"Do  you  know,  General,  that  men  say  sovereigns  are  wolves,  and 
prey  upon  their  people  ?  You  will  have  no  need  of  punishment  in  your 
land." 

"Yes,  we  have;  when  a  wolf  commits  a  crime  he  is  punished. 
Should  he  not  scent  his  game  in  time,  or  fail  to  secure  it,  he  is  beaten. 
But  he  never  loses  caste  on  that  account." 

"  I  have  heard  tell  that  some  of  your  wolves  in  office  are  secretly 
ravenous,  devouring  the  substance  of  the  country,  and  given  to  dividing 
the  good  things  of  government  among  their  friends." 

"  Hush  !  Gently,  please.  These  are  matters  of  which  we  do  not 
speak.  The  natural  tendency  of  wolves  is  to  feed  on  carrion,  and 
when  the  body  politic  becomes  corrupt,  they  perform  the  healthful 
function  of  licking  the  sores.  It  is  only  wolf-nature  to  seek  such 
office  and  profit  by  it.  One  good  feature  in  the  Republic  is,  that  a 
wolf  is  free  to  hunt  down  his  own  game,  and  when  required,  he  may 
rely  on  the  community.'' 

"  This  is  indeed  excellent,"  I  replied,  "  to  live  and  govern  one's  self. 
You  have  indeed  solved  a  great  problem."  Yet  I  thought  to  myself 
that  the  Parisian  Sparrows  will  not  be  simple  enough  to  adopt  such  a 
system. 

"  Hurrah  ! "  cried  my  friend,  whisking  me  from  his  tail  into  the  air. 
All  at  once  from  a  thousand  to  twelve  hundred  wolves  with  superb  fur, 
and  agility  wonderful  to  behold,  arrived  on  the  scene.  I  saw  two 
carriages  drawn  by  horses,  and  defended  by  masters  and  servants.  In 
spite  of  the  sword-blows  that  fell  on  all  sides,  and  the  wheels  that  crushed 
the  assailants,  the  wolves  fixing  their  fangs  into  the  horses  soon  over- 
powered the  caravans.  The  prey  was  portioned  out.  One  skin  fell  to  the 
sentinel,  who  devoured  it  greedily.  Other  valiant  wolves  were  allotted 
the  coats  and  buttons,  and  soon  only  six  human  skulls  remained  that 
proved  far  too  thick  and  hard  for  the  profane  fangs  of  the  destroyers. 
The  corpses  of  the  slain  wolves  were  respected  and  became  the  objects 
of  a  strange  usage.  Hungry  wolves  lay  concealed  beneath  them  until 
such  time  as  a  flock  of  birds  of  prey  had  settled  on  them.  These  they 
deftly  caught  and  devoured.  This  was  a  touching  example  of  thrift, 
recalling  the  various  modes  by  which  men  take  a  profit  out  of  their 


54  PUBLIC  AND  PRIVA  TE  LIFE  OF  ANIMALS. 

dead.  I  am  told  they  set  up  tombstones  over  them,  as  baits  for  the  world's 
applause.  A  man  will  inscribe  on  the  stone  which  covers  the  remains  of 
some  poor  wife  sentiments  of  deep  regret  and  undying  affection,  while 
his  carnal  eyes  are  bent  on  some  pretty  bird  fluttering  over  him 
and  sympathising  with  his  grief. 

One  thing  struck  me  about  the  Eepublic,  and  that  was  the  seemingly 
perfect  equality  of  the  people  which  arose,  not  so  much  from  the  nature 
of  their  government,  as  from  the  fact  that  by  nature  they  are  endowed 
with  equal  strength  and  instinct.  The  failure  of  human  Eepublics 
arises  out  of  the  unequal  intellectual  and  physical  capacities  of  men. 
A  more  perfect  system  of  education  and  a  higher  moral  code,  strictly 
observed  by  all,  may  one  day  bring  man  and  man  to  the  same  level. 
Hereditary  defects  of  character  will  then  disappear,  and  all  men  will 
regain  something  of  the  perfect  image  of  the  God  that  created  them. 
In  the  Wolves'  Republic  the  weak  ones  go  to  the  wall,  die  off,  as  the 
struggle  for  existence  is  severe,  so  severe  indeed  that  only  the  strong 
survive.  The  young  wolf  is  educated  in  warfare  and  suffering. 
Indolence  and  want  of  pluck  are  punished  by  starvation,  as  all  must 
work,  and  it  becomes  a  habit  to  toil,  and  to  toil  ungrudgingly.  Ah 
me  !  I  almost  despair  of  the  task  of  reforming  a  country  spoilt  by 
luxury.  Parisian  birds,  some  of  you  are  daintily  fed  on  grubs  and 
grain  in  golden  cages,  others,  alas,  have  to  pick  up  a  precarious  living 
on  the  streets.  How  shall  we  raise  the  poor  to  the  level  of  the  rich  1 
Raise  them  from  their  lowly  perch  and  place  them  in  palaces  ?  The 
wolves  obey  each  other  quite  as  heartily  as  the  bees  obey  their  queen, 
or  the  ants  their  laws.  Liberty  makes  duty  a  slave.  The  ants  are 
fettered  by  habit,  and  so  are  the  bees.  The  Wolves'  Republic  possesses 
many  advantages,  for  if  one  must  be  a  slave  to  anything,  it  is  better  to 
obey  public  reason  than  to  become  the  votary  of  pleasure,  or  the  foot- 
ball of  fate. 

I  must  own,  whether  to  my  shame  or  glory,  as  I  approached  Paris 
my  admiration  for  wolfish  freedom  gradually  diminished  in  the 
presence  of  refinement  •  and  while  I  thought  of  the  priceless  boon  of  a 
cultivated  mind,  the  proud  Republic  of  the  Wolves  no  longer  satis- 
fied me.  Is  it  not,  after  all,  a  sad  condition,  to  live  on  rapine  alone  1 
If  the  equality  of  wolves  is  one  of  the  sublimest  triumphs  of  animal 
instinct,  the  war  they  wage  against  man,  birds  of  prey,  and  horses, 
is  a  violation  of  animal  right. 

The  rude  virtues  of  a  Republic  thus  constituted   depend  alone  on 


THE  FLIGHT  OF  A  PARISIAN  BIRD. 


55 


war.  Is  it  possible  that  the  best  form  of  government  can  be  sustained 
by  ceaseless  warfare,  by  continuing  to  push  one's  conquests  into  the 
territory  of  weaker,  simpler,  and  perchance  more  virtuous  foes  ?  This, 
my  philosophic  companions,  is  the  policy  of  the  great  country  of  the 
wolves.  Better  rather  to  die  of  hunger,  while  we,  by  our  self-denial, 
add  a  single  green  leaf  to  the  laurel-crown  that  decks  the  brows  of  our 
country.  We  are  placed  here  on  God's  earth,  not  to  destroy,  but  to 
build  up  His  glorious  works.  Take  this  to  heart,  ye  visionaries  who 
seek  to  establish  the  edifice  of  peace  on  a  foundation  of  vice  and  blood. 
However  humble  our  lot,  let  us  rather — like  the  coral  insects  who,  by 
their  toil,  build  up  the  loveliest  islands  of  the  world — seek  to  do  our 
duty  in  our  allotted  spheres,  that  we  may  leave  behind  us  an  unsullied 
fame. 


AND  PHILOSOPHICAL  OPINION?  OF  A 
PENQUJN. 


"  Must  one  seek  for  happiness  ?  "  I  inquired  of  the  Hare.     "  Search,"  replied 
he,  but  with  fear  and  trembling.  —  The  Anonymous  Bird. 

I. 

HAD  I  not  been  born  in  the- 
extreme  South,  beneath  the  rays 
of  a  burning  sun,  which  helped 
to  liberate  me  from  my  shell, 
and  was  quite  as  much  to  me 
as  the  brave  Penguin  which 
abandoned  me  to  fate,  I  might 
have  proved  a  happier  bird  ;  but 
being,  as  I  said,  hatched  under 
a  tropic  sun  rather  than  a  lucky 
star,  I  became  an  unhappy  bird. 
I  had  a  hard  struggle  to  get  into 
the  world,  as  my  shell  was  an 
uncommonly  thick  one.  When 
at  last  I  had  found  my  way  into- 
the  light,  I  stood  for  some  time- 
gazing  at  my  prison  with  feel- 

ings not  unmingled  with  surprise  at  the  event  which  had  introduced 
me  to  freedom.  One,  of  course,  has  only  a  confused  remembrance  of 
those  early  days,  and  can  hardly  be  expected  to  give  a  full  account  of 
the  sudden  change  implied  in  birth.  I  have  heard  it  said  that  men 
when  they  are  born  —  some  of  them  —  smile  blandly  on  the  prospects 
that  life  presents  to  them  ;  while  others,  and  they  the  majority,  begin 
life  with  a  wail  of  regret,  the  prophetic  note  of  a  sorrowful  existence. 
Be  that  as  it  may,  I  remember,  as  soon  as  I  was  able  to  reflect, 


LIFE  AND  PHILOSOPHICAL  OPINIONS  OF  A  PENGUIN.  57 

thinking  how  uncomfortable  I  must  have  felt,  doubled  up  in  a  shell  too 
contracted  to  admit  of  motion.  The  change  was  truly  appalling. 
There  lay  the  shell,  to  me  a  world  which  I  had  first  filled  and  then 
broken,  to  find  myself  a  mean  tenant  of  immeasurable  space.  The 
prospect  puzzled  and  hardly  pleased  me  \  I  had  exchanged  my  little 
egg  for  one  boundless  in  its  infinity.  Far  from  being  modest,  on 
finding  myself  in  the  world  my  first  notion  was  that  all  I  saw  belonged 
to  me,  and  that  the  sole  purpose  of  the  earth  was  to  contribute  to  my 
support. 

Forgive  the  infantile  pride  of  a  poor  Penguin,  who,  as  the  years  rolled 
on,  has  been  taught  humility.  As  soon  as  I  discovered  the  use  of  my 
eyes,  I  found  myself  alone  in  what  proved  to  be  the  hollow  of  a  great 
rock  overlooking  the  sea.  The  rocks,  the  stones,  the  water;  a  boundless 
horizon  around,  immensity,  indeed,  and  myself,  in  the  midst  of  it  all, 
nothing  more  than  an  atom  !  I  vainly  inquired,  "  Why  is  the  universe 
so  large  ? "  and  the  echo  from  my  empty  shell  answered  "  Why  ? "  The 
question  had  been  asked  before,  and,  as  I  afterwards  learned,  had 
never  been  more  conclusively  answered.  A  little  world,  quite  a  small 
one,  filled  by  those  alone  who  are  devoted  to  each  other's  welfare, 
would  have  been  more  to  my  liking  than  this  great  gulf  in  which  all 
seems  lost,  and  hopeless  confusion  reigns, — in  which  there  is  space 
enough  and  to  spare,  not  only  for  those  creatures  who  detest  each 
other,  but  for  nations  whose  conflicting  interests  cause  endless  strife, 
and  allow  full  scope  to  the  play  of  crime  and  passion.  Penguins  in 
general,  and  you  my  personal  friends,  would  not  a  world  framed  for 
ourselves  have  been  better  ?  a  world  with  one  low  mountain  bathed  in 
sunlight, — a  tiny,  leafy  plain  bordering  the  sea,  carpeted  with  flowers, 
and  shaded  by  fruit-bearing  trees,  in  which  a  score  of  social  birds 
might  build  their  nests — birds  decked  with  gay  plumage  and  bursting 
with  song,  unlike  the  poor  Penguin  whose  lines  you  are  now  reading? 

These  are  vain  imaginings,  there  is  no  such  paradise  for  Penguins  or 
any  other  creatures.  There  are  fields  and  flowers,  foliages  and  fruit- 
bearing  trees,  birds  with  bright  plumage,  and  others  with  song ;  but, 
alas  !  the  wide  world  shares  their  charms — flowers  here  and  fruit  there, 
all  so  scattered  and  dispersed  as  to  minister  alone  to  the  sport  and 
pleasure  of  mankind.  Yes,  man  alone  has  the  power  of  making 
nature  his  slave,  of  bringing  all  these  elements  together,  of  rendering 
his  mansions  musical  with  the  nightingale,  his  lawns  gay  with  flowers, 
and  his  orchards  glorious  with  varied  fruits. 


58  PUBLIC  AND  PRIVATE  LIFE  OF  ANIMALS. 

Again  I  crave  pardon,  dear  reader.  The  habit  of  dwelling  alone  has 
rendered  me  gloomy,  and  I  forget  myself,  forget  that  I  have  no  right 
to  forget  my  humble  lot  and  obscure  destiny. 


II. 

I  ought  to  say  that  my  early  isolation  and  ignorance  tempted  me  to 
brood  over  the  unattainable.  Nevertheless,  I  claim  credit  for  self- 
denial  in  pruning  my  introduction,  as  I  might  have  dived  deep  into  the 
miseries  of  solitude — the  solitude  of  my  early  days.  The  theme  was  a 
prolific  one,  which  I  should  not  have  allowed  thus  to  escape.  It 
is  so  soothing  to  complain ;  so  comforting,  indeed,  as  to  pass  for  real 
happiness. 

I  had  not  been  alive  a  day  before  I  learned  what  heat  and  cold 
were.  The  sun  disappeared,  leaving  my  rock  as  cold  as  an  ice- 
berg. Having  nothing  to  do,  I  began  to  move,  and  felt  about  my 
shoulders  something  I  conceived  must  be  intended  for  use.  Stretching 
forth  these  little  arms  or  wings  with  which  Nature  had  endowed  me 
(she  has  lived  too  long  on  her  reputation  of  being  a  good  mother, 
loving  equally  all  her  children),  after  prolonged  efforts  I  at  last 
succeeded  in  rolling  from  the  top  of  my  rock.  Thus  my  first  experi- 
ence in  life  was,  as  you  see,  a  fall,  which  I  speedily  resented  by  digging 
my  beak  into  the  unsympathetic  soil.  This  only  increased  my  pain, 
and  led  to  reflection.  "  It  is  evident,"  I  said,  "  one  ought  to  be  careful 
about  one's  first  step  in  life,  and  to  reflect  well  before  moving."  I  then 
inwardly  pondered  over  my  destiny  as  a  Penguin,  not  that  I  had  the 
faintest  pretension  to  philosophy,  only  when  one  is  forced  to  live,  and 
one  is  not  accustomed  to  do  so,  one  must  find  out  some  rules  of  life. 

"  What  is  good  ?  " 

"What  is  evil?" 

"  What  is  life  ?  " 

"What  is  a  Penguin?" 

Before  I  could  solve  these  questions,  my  eyelids  closed  in  sleep. 


III. 

Hunger  rudely  awoke  me  !  Forgetting  my  resolutions,  strange  as 
it  may  seem,  I  did  not  wait  to  inquire,  "What  is  hunger?"  but  imme- 
diately proceeded  to  satisfy  the  craving  by  eating  some  shell-fish  that 


LIFE  AND  PHILOSOPHICAL  OPINIONS  OF  A  PENGUIN.  59 


were  yawning  before  me.  I  ought  to  have  first  indulged  in  a  disserta- 
tion on  the  possible  danger  of  following  this  ancient  custom.  My 
inexperience  was  punished,  for  by  dint  of  eating  too  fast,  I  was  nearly 
choked.  I  have  no  notion  how  I  learned  to  eat,  to  drink,  to  walk, 
and  move  to  right  or  left,  measure  distances  with  my  eye,  to  know 
that  all  one  sees  is  not  one's  own ;  to  come  down  and  ascend,  to  swim, 
to  fish,  to  sleep  standing,  to  content  myself  with  little  or  nothing,  &c. 
It  is  sufficient  to  say  that  each  and  all  of  those  studies  caused  me 
countless  troubles,  fabulous  misadventures,  and  unheard-of  trials. 


IV. 

What  are  our  duties  in  the  world  ?  What  will  ultimately  become  of 
Penguins  ?  Where  do  we  go  to  after  death  1  Why  were  some  birds 
created  without  feathers,  some  fish  without  fins,  or  animals  without  feet  ? 

My  worldly  experience  often  tempted  me  to  wish  to  return  to  my 
egg.  One  day,  after  profound  reflection,  I  fell  asleep,  and  during  my 
repose  heard  a  noise,  which  was  neither  that  of  the  waves  nor  any 
sound  to  which  I  was  accustomed.  "  Wake  up  ! "  said  the  active  part 
of  my  being,  that  which  never  seems  to  slumber,  and  is  ever  on  the 
alert  like  a  guardian  angel  to  ward  off  danger.  "  Wake  up,  and  you 
will  behold  something  to  rouse  your  curiosity."  "  Certainly  not," 
said  that  other  most  excellent  part  of  ourselves  which  requires  sleep. 
"I  am  not  curious,  and  have  no  desire  to  see  anything.  I  have 
already  seen  too  much."  Still  the  other  insisted,  and  I  continued : 
"It  would  be  wrong  to  break  my  slumber  for  anything  spurious; 
besides  you  deceive  me,  the  sound  has  gone.  It  is  a  dream ;  let  me 
sleep  !  let  me  sleep  ! "  I  really  wished  to  sleep,  stubbornly  closed  my 
eyes  as  best  I  might,  and  folded  and  fondled  myself  to  repose  with 
all  those  little  cares  common  to  sleepers.  But,  alas  !  all  was  of  no 
avail;  I  woke  up.  What  shall  I  come  to?  I,  who  vainly  thought 
myself  the  most  considerable  creature  living,  the  only  bird  in  creation. 
I  sank  into  utter  insignificance  before  the  sight  that  met  my  gaze. 
There,  before  me,  I  beheld  at  least  a  dozen  most  charming  creatures, 
some  with  expanded  wings  floating  in  mid-air,  others  diving  into  the 
waves,  and  again  rising  to  display  their  snow-white  plumage  in  the 
morning  sun.  Surely,  I  thought,  these  are  the  inhabitants  of  a 
happier  and  more  perfect  world.  Had  they  descended  from  the  sun 
or  moon  ?  What  unknown  caprice  had  brought  them  to  my  rock  ? 


60  PUBLIC  AND  PRIVATE  LIFE  OF  ANIMALS. 

They  were  endowed  with  a  sublime  mastery  over  the  elements,  skimming 
the  waves  as  if  to  laugh  at  their  fury,  resting  for  an  instant  on  the 
solid  earth,  and,  as  if  disdaining  its  support,  again  cleaving  the  air 
with  their  glorious  wings.  So  wrapt  was  I  in  admiring  the  grace  and 
perfection  of  their  movements,  that  jealousy  never  clouded  my  mind. 
At  last,  carried  away  by  the  ardour  of  youth,  and  the  emotion  with 
which  the  beautiful  fills  the  breast,  I  rushed  into  their  midst,  exclaim- 
ing :  "  Celestial  birds,  fairies  of  the  air ! "  Here  I  had  to  pause  for 
want  of  breath. 

"  A  Penguin  ! "  cried  one  of  them. 

"  A  Penguin  ! "  repeated  the  whole  band  ;  and  as  they  all  laughed  on 
seeing  me,  I  concluded  that  my  presence  gave  them  pleasure,  and  so 
I  boldly  introduced  myself  in  the  following  words: — "Ladies  and 
gentlemen,  you  are  right,  I  am  a  Penguin,  and  you  are  the  fairest 
forms  I  have  gazed  upon  since  the  hour  I  left  my  shell.  I  am  proud 
of  your  acquaintance,  and  should  like  to  join  in  your  sport." 

"  Penguin,"  said  my  lady  friend  who  had  first  addressed  me,  and  who 
appeared  to  be  the  queen,  but  who,  I  afterwards  learned,  was  only  a 
laughing  Gull.  "  You  do  not  know  what  you  are  asking,  you  may,  how- 
ever, profit  by  experience.  It  shall  never  be  said  that  such  an  elegant 
Penguin  received  a  denial."  She  then  gave  me  a  flip  with  her  wing 
which  sent  me  reeling  into  the  midst  of  the  group,  another  did  the 
same,  and  they  all  followed  suit,  flipping  me  about,  first  to  one  side, 
then  to  another.  This  was  sport ! 

As  soon  as  I  could  get  the  words  out,  I  shouted,  "  Stop  !  you  are 
killing  me." 

"  Bah  !"  said  they,  "  we  are  only  beginning,  hah  !  hah  !  Keep  him 
warm.  Keep  the  ball  rolling."  The  sport  began  anew,  and  with  such 
vigour  that  I  soon  fell  to  the  ground  thoroughly  humbled  and 
exhausted.  The  Gull  who  had  first  called  me  Penguin,  and  who  had 
taken  the  lead  in  maltreating  me,  noticing  my  prostration,  reproached 
herself  for  her  conduct. 

«  Forgive  us,  my  poor  Penguin.  You  do  not  seem  to  relish  our 
rollicking  style,  yet  it  is  our  nature,  so  pray  do  not  blame  us  if  you 
are  hurt."  She  then  came  forward  and  bent  over  me  with  such  a 
tender  look,  that,  in  spite  of  what  she  had  just  done,  she  seemed  for  the 
moment  perfectly  beautiful  and  good. 

But  pity  often  comes  of  self-love,  and  is  nothing  more  than  regret 
for  harshness.  What  I  mistook  for  the  dawn  of  affection  was  only 


LIFE  AND  PHILOSOPHICAL  OPINIONS  OF  A  PENGUIN.  61 

sorrow  for  having  done  wrong.     Thus,  as  soon  as  she  saw  me  com- 
forted, away  she  flew  with  her  companions. 

This  sudden  flight  so  startled  me,  that  it  was  impossible  to  find  a 


single  word  or  gesture  to  prevent  it,  and  again  I  was  alone.     From 
that  moment  solitude  seemed  insupportable. 


IV. 

To  tell  the  truth,  I  was  blindly  in  love,  and  savage  at  having  done 


62  PUBLIC  AND  PRIVATE  LIFE  OF  ANIMALS. 

nothing  to  win  a  bride  so  beautiful.  Why  did  I  not  exercise  my 
blandishments  1  While  pondering  these  things  I  wandered  to  the  edge 
of  a  pool  of  water.  It  was  placid  and  clear,  reflecting  only  the  blue 
heaven,  until,  bending  down  to  dip  and  cool  my  fevered  beak,  I  beheld 
my  own  image,  and  nearly  choked  as  the  picture  of  my  unsightly  propor- 
tions flashed  on  my  mind.  I  left  the  mirror,  and  soon  by  reason  of  vanity 
forgot  what  manner  of  bird  I  was.  Sleepless  nights  and  miserable  day& 
became  my  portion.  Eagerly  I  listened  to  the  whisperings  of  the  wind, 
thinking  that  I  heard  the  gentle  sound  of  that  lovely  spirit  of  the  air 
descending  to  soothe  my  troubled  heart.  Vain  thought !  she  never 
came,  and  worse  luck,  my  appetite  had  gone  with  her.  My  only 
solace  was  the  sea.  There  was  something  in  the  mournful  voice  of  its 
waves,  as  they  broke  on  the  great  rocks,  that  soothed  me  in  my  saddest 
hours.  There  was  something  in  its  immeasurable  depth  typical  of  the 
grief  which  overwhelmed  me. 

The  reader  may  feel  inclined  to  smile  at  my  vulgar  and  unpoetic 
proportions,  nevertheless,  let  me  remind  him  that  God  has  so  framed 
the  world,  that  in  the  rudest  and  most  unlikely  forms  among  men  and 
beasts  repose  the  sublimest  attributes.  Thus  human  genius  is  seldom 
found  mated  with  bodies  of  herculean  type.  So  the  sentiment  of  a  love- 
sick Penguin  can  never  be  estimated  by  the  appearance  of  its  too  solid 
body. 

V. 

"  Suspense  becomes  intolerable,  I  can  no  longer  bear  it,"  I  said,  and 
cast  myself  into  the  sea  to  drown  my  sorrow  in  its  mournful  waves. 


VI. 

Unfortunately,  I  discovered  how  to  swim,  so  my  history  does  not 
end  here. 

VII. 

When  I  rose  to  the  surface — one  always  rises  two  or  three  times 
before  drowning — yielding  to  my  passion  for  soliloquies,  I  inquired 
what  right  had  I  thus  to  seek  to  destroy  myself;  if  the  world  would 
not  be  just  one  Penguin  worse  off,  had  I  met  my  end,  &c.  My 
soliloquy  was  long.  I  was  drifting  many  leagues  straight  ahead ;  now 
and  again  diving  with  the  dire  resolve  of  going  to  the  bottom  and 


LIFE  AND  PHILOSOPHICAL  OPINIONS  OF  A  PENGUIN.  63 

remaining  there.  But  for  some  reason  I  always  found  myself  coming  to 
the  surface,  and,  to  tell  the  truth,  the  air  seemed  all  the  more  refreshing 
after  each  dip.  Just  as  my  seventh  attempt  at  suicide  had  miscarried, 
I  rose  to  find  myself  side  by  side  with  a  creature  whose  simple 
unaffectedness  won  my  heart  at  first  sight. 

"  What  were  you  after  below  there,  Mr.  Penguin  ?  and  where  are  you 
going  ?  "  he  inquired,  bowing  profoundly. 

"  I  hardly  know,"  I  replied. 

"Well,"  said  he,  " suppose  we  go  together." 

I  willingly  agreed,  and  on  the  way  related  my  misfortunes  to  him. 
When  I  had  finished,  he  asked  me  if  I  had  formed  any  plans  for  the 
future.  "No,"  I  said,  "not  any,  still  I  have  half  a  mind  to  travel  in 
search  of  my  lady-love,  the  Gull." 


"  How  came  you  to  love  a  Gull  ?  You  look  a  large  solid  bird 
enough.  Why  don't  you  devote  your  affections  to  one  of  your  own 
decent  stay-at-home  kind  1  Depend  upon  it,  the  Gull,  could  you  wed 
her,  would  only  bring  grief.  She  is  puffed  out  with  feathers,  and 
ever  on  the  wing ;  she  would  soon  desert  you  for  one  of  her  own 
kind." 

This  seemed  severe,  and  I  replied  testily,  "There's  no  accounting 
either  for  tastes  or  for  love.  It  came  upon  me  like  a  sunbeam  from 
heaven." 

"From  heaven!/'    said  my  companion.    "Lovers'    language!      A 


64  PUBLIC  AND  PRIVATE  LIFE  OF  ANIMALS. 

strong  light,  this  light  of  love  ;  and  it  has  left  a  shadow  of  pitchy  dark- 
ness somewhere,  has  it  not  ?  " 

"Ah  !  sir,"  I  said,  "you  look  dejected.  My  story,  perchance,  stirred 
up  old  memories."  He  said  nothing,  but  wrapped  in  profound 
melancholy  ascended  a  rock  left  dry  by  the  tide,  and  I  followed.  There 
was  such  an  air  of  profundity  about  him  that  I  inquired  what  he  was 
thinking  about. 

"  Nothing,"  he  replied. 

"  But  who  are  you,  whose  silence  is  so  eloquent  1 " 

"  I  am  of  the  Palmiped  family,  and  my  name  is  Fool." 

"  You,  Fool !  "  I  cried.     "  Come  !  " 

"Yes,"  he  replied,  ''I  am  so  named  in  the  world  from  my  habit  of 
minding  other  people's  affairs  and  neglecting  my  own  ;  so  sinking 
myself,  what  can  I  do  for  you  ?  Listen,  my  friend,"  said  this 
sublime  bird ;  "  not  far  from  here  is  an  island  called  the  '  Isle 
of  Penguins.'  It  is  only  inhabited  by  birds  of  your  tribe.  They  are 
all  of  them  equally  ugly ;  go  there,  and  who  knows,  you  may  even  be 
thought  handsome." 

"  Am  I  then  so  unsightly  ? "  said  I. 

"  Yes,"  he  said,  "  you  are  as  unlike  the  gull  as  the  grub  is  unlike 
the  butterfly." 

VIII. 

During  our  voyage,  encountering  a  severe  storm,  we  rode  it  tran- 
quilly on  the  breast  of  the  billows,  while  great  ships,  freighted  with  the 
wealth  of  the  world,  were  wrecked  and  lost  before  our  eyes.  It  was 
pitiful  to  hear  the  shrieks  of  the  perishing  sounding  above  the  tempest, 
men  and  women  who  had  braved  the  dangers  of  the  deep,  some  to 
seek  happier  climes,  others,  the  riches  they  were  doomed  never  to 
enjoy. 

At  last  through  many  dangers  we  reached  the  shores  of  the  "Happy 
Island." 

"  Let  us  pause  here,"  said  my  sage  companion,  "  and  note  the  native 
mode  of  seeking  what  I  hold  to  be  a  myth — earthly  happiness." 

Shaking  ourselves  dry,  iny  friend,  who  had  studied  geography, 
elevated  his  beak,  and  casting  his  eye  along  its  line,  took  our  position 
from  the  sun.  The  result  was  curious  and  instructive  to  navigators, 
and  even  to  mankind  generally,  not  to  mention  birds.  According  to 
our  calculations,  we  had  been  availing  ourselves  of  every  slant  of  wind 


LIFE  AND  PHILOSOPHICAL  OPINIONS  OF  A  PENGUIN.  65 

to  push  ahead,  and,  strange  to  say,  reached  land  a  hundred  miles 
astern  of  the  point  we  started  from.  Had  we  been  men,  pioneers  of 
civilisation,  gifted  with  a  sublime  belief  in  our  own  powers,  we  should 
have  no  doubt  proved  to  our  own  satisfaction  that  we  had  made 
unheard-of  progress.  Men  and  mules,  without  knowing  it,  go  as  often 
backwards  as  forwards. 

My  friend  here  remarked  that  the  island  was  unknown,  had  never, 
in  fact,  found  its  place  in  any  map.  Our  observations,  therefore,  cannot 
fail  to  prove  useful. 

"  Let  us  go  inland.     If  you  don't  object  1" 

"  With  all  my  heart ; "  and  in  my  youthful  ardour  was  about  to  kiss 
the  happy  soil. 

"There,  calm  yourself,"  said  the  Sage.  "This  is  neither  Peru  nor 
the  Penguins'  Paradise.  The  name  alone  misleads  you.  This  land, 
'Happy  Island,'  is  so  named  because  its  inhabitants  (all  of  them) 
inherit  a  furious  desire  for  happiness,  not  because  they  are  happy ; 
they  spend  their  lives  chasing  a  phantom,  and  when  it  seems  nearest, 
they  are  swallowed  up  in  the  grave.  These  islanders  cannot  be 
brought  to  understand  that  wrong  must  exist,  and  that  happiness  may 
be  obtained  by  redressing  wrongs  and  grievances,  and  that  the  most 
one  can  do  is  to  snatch  moments  of  bliss  from  one's  days  and  years  of 
toil  and  sorrow.  I  have  heard  that  men,  after  trying  all  sorts  of  new- 
fashioned  receipts  for  happiness,  fall  back  on  the  oldest  plans,  imagining 
they  have  discovered  in  them  a  new  panacea  for  all  earthly  woes. 

"  These  curious  islanders  make  self  their  god.  They  make  it  a  rule 
each  one  to  seek  his  own  personal  gratification,  this  plan  is  most 
ancient:  love,  sympathy,  self-sacrifice,  devotion,  virtue,  duty,  are 
with  them  nothing  more  than  words  whose  meaning  has  been  long 
forgotten.  Another  rule  is  to  avoid  doing  anything  that  will  in  any 
way  mar  one's  enjoyment,  or  spoil  one's  ease.  It  will  be  seen  that 
only  the  rich  among  them  are  able  to  carry  out  their  principles  to  the 
full  extent.  Let  us  note  how  they  manage  affairs.  Do  you  see  the 
mansion  over  there  1  is  it  not  beautiful  ?  In  it  the  disciples  of  pleasure 
carry  on  their  amusements.  Let  us  look  in  ;  we  may  learn  something. 
Over  the  doorway  we  read  in  Latin,  c  Here  we  are,  four  hundred  of  us, 
all  happy ' ;  followed  by  a  text  from  their  sacred  classics,  «  Neutralise 
the  influence  of  parents  upon  children,  and  all  will  go  well.' " 

In  the  first  room  we  came  across  a  charming  illustration  of  the  text 
—a  number  of  showily-dressed,  attractive-looking  mothers,  who  refused 

E 


66 


PUBLIC  AND  PRIVATE  LIFE  OF  ANIMALS. 


to  sit  on  their  eggs.     Some  of  them  had  strolled  into  the  garden  to 
spend   their   time   more   usefully   in   flirting   with   dangerous-looking 


male  friends.      Somehow  the  poor  little  ones  were  hatched.     "You 


LIFE  AND  PHILOSOPHICAL  OPINIONS  OF  A  PENGUIN.  67 


unwelcome    rubbish ! "    said    the    mothers ;    "  now    that    we    have 


8HOEMA  KKlt,  PARIS. 
IRON     AND     SON, 


SHOES   FOR   MEN 
AND  BEASTS. 


had  all  the  trouble  of  bringing  you  into  the  world,  some  one  must 
nurse  you — we  are  otherwise  engaged.     We  will  return  and  spoil  you 


68  PUBLIC  AND  PRIVATE  LIFE  OF  ANIMALS. 


later  on,  if  we  think  of  it."  Guardians  are  found.  A  Weasel  dis- 
played the  deepest  interest  in  the  eggs,  an  Adder  watched  them 
tenderly  as  they  were  about  to  break,  while  Wolves  feasted  on  the 
young  to  keep  them  out  of  harm's  way. 

By  far  the  most  telling  scene  was  met  with  in  the  schoolroom. 
There  we  saw  bloated-looking  Boars  prosecuting  their  studies  by  lying 
on  their  bellies,  or  rolling  over  on  their  backs.  Oxen,  that  had 
abandoned  the  plough,  and  Camels  striving  to  make  their  neighbours 
carry  their  humps. 

Those  who  were  not  asleep  were  yawning,  or  going  to  yawn,  or  had 
yawned.  All  of  them  seemed  profoundly  dull.  Near  the  centre  sat  a 
Monkey  nursing  his  knee,  who,  with  his  head  thrown  back,  seemed  to 
be  absorbed  in  his  reflections. 

"Sir,"  I  said,  addressing  him,  "are  these  dejected-looking  creatures 
around  you  happy  1 " 

"I  fear  not,"  was  his  reply;  "although  their  sole  pursuit  is 
happiness,  some  of  them  are  miserable  enough.  As  for  myself,  I  feel 
supremely  uncomfortable  on  this  confounded  stool,  but  as  governor  I 
must  keep  awake." 

On  our  way  we  passed  in  front  of  the  shop  of  a  blacksmith,  who 
was  fitting  a  pair  of  carpet  slippers  to  a  tender-footed  horse.  Suddenly 
I  said  to  my  travelling  companion,  "  I  have  had  quite  enough  of  this 
'Happy  Island,'  let  us  continue  our  voyage." 


IX. 

PENGUIN  ISLAND. 

Two  days  later  we  reached  Penguin  Island.  "  What  does  that 
mean  1 "  I  said,  on  perceiving  some  two  hundred  individuals  of  my 
kind  ranged  as  if  in  battle-array  along  the  shore.  "  Are  these  troops 
intended  to  do  us  honour,  or  to  prevent  our  landing  ?  " 

"Fear  nothing,"  said  my  friend,  "these  Penguins  are  our  friends. 
It  is  the  custom  of  their  country  to  parade  the  shores  in  flocks." 

We  were  received  with  much  kindness,  and  conducted  with  great 
ceremony  towards  an  old  Sphemiscus,  the  King  of  the  island.  This 
good  King  was  seated  on  a  stone,  which  served  as  a  throne,  and  sur- 
rounded by  his  subjects,  who  seemed  to  be  all  known  to  him. 


LIFE  AND  PHILOSOPHICAL  OPINIONS  OF  A  PENGUIN.  69 

"  Illustrious  strangers,"  he  exclaimed,  as  soon  as  he  perceived  us 
approaching,  "  we  are  delighted  to  make  your  acquaintance,"  and  as 
the  crowd  around  him  barred  our  way,  lie  continued  :  "  My  children, 


range  yourselves  on  one  side,  and  allow  the  strangers  to  pass."  The 
ladies  stood  on  his  right,  and  the  gentlemen  on  his  left.  "  You,  sirs, 
are  welcome  to  enjoy  the  freedom  of  our  kingdom." 


70  PUBLIC  AND  PRIVATE  LIFE  OF  ANIMALS. 


I  ventured  to  say,  "  Sire,  your  renown  is  the  talk  of  the  whole 
world,  and  the  hope  of  seeing  you  alone  sustained  us  through  the 
perils  of  our  journey." 

"Good  !"  whispered  my  friend;  "you  are  a  courtly  liar  for  one  so 
young ;  but  be  careful,  else  you  may  die  a  diplomatist." 

My  speech  so  pleased  the  King,  that  he  cast  off  his  Phrygian  cap, 
descended  from  his  perch,  and  clasped  me  to  his  breast,  saying,  "  You 
are,  for  one  so  young,  a  bird  most  fair  and  honest.  Remain  with  me 
to  aid  me  in  my  old  age." 

"  Noble  sir,"  I  replied,  "  your  knowledge  of  Penguin  character  is 
truly  worthy  of  your  fame.  I  will  gladly  accept  your  generous  offer, 
trusting  that  my  youth  and  inexperience  may  excuse  my  many 
shortcomings." 

"  Stay,  are  you  married  ? " 

"  No,  your  Majesty,  I  am  a  bachelor." 

"  He  is  a  bachelor  ! "  cried  the  King,  turning  towards  the  ladies,  who 
at  once,  and  for  the  first  time,  overwhelmed  me  with  their  fond  gaze. 

"  A  bachelor  !  a  bachelor  !  "  cried  a  chorus  of  voices,  "  what  a  dread- 
ful creature !  " 

"  Hush  !  "  said  the  King,  "we  have  cured  worse  maladies.  There  is 
my  daughter." 

"  But,  Sire,"  I  protested,  "my  heart  is  lost  to  another." 

"  The  remark  is  worthy  of  your  modesty.  You  shall  wed  my 
daughter;  the  notion  suits  me;  it  is  a  question  of  privilege,  not  of 
heart." 

I  so  little  expected  this  proposal,  that  I  remained  mute  with  amaze- 
ment. 

"  He  who  says  nothing,  consents,"  said  the  King.  Before  I  had 
time  to  decide,  my  eyes  met  those  of  the  princess.  It  was  but  for  a 
moment.  The  god  of  love  had  kindled  a  perfect  conflagration  in  her 
breast.  Everything  was  arranged  before  I  could  say  no,  so  engrossed 
was  I  with  my  own  reflections.  That  momentary  glance  had 
evidently  sealed  my  fate.  So  far  as  one's  after-life  is  concerned,  it 
had  more  effect  in  neutralising  my  happiness  than  if  I  had,  from  my 
earliest  infancy,  set  myself  the  task  of  inventing  the  best  means  of 
blighting  my  peace. 

"  Well,"  said  the  monarch,  "  look  at  your  future  wife.  Are  you 
not  delighted?  too  happy  to  find  words  to  express  your  joy?  Is 
she  not  lovely?"  The  poor  old  potentate  looked  tenderly  on  his 


LIFE  AND  PHILOSOPHICAL  OPINIONS  OF  A  PENGUIN.  1\ 

daughter,  and  with  tears  in  his  eyes,  continued — "  You  cannot  know 
what  I  am  offering,  she  is  a  good  child,  a  good  child !  and  will  make  a 
•dear  wife.  Not  a  single  subject  in  my  realm  boasts  smaller  eyes, 
yellower  beak,  rounder  form,  or  larger  feet.  She  is  indeed  beau- 
tiful ! " 

The  wedding  was  arranged,  and  we  were  married  in  great  state. 
My  wife's  father  paid  all  the  expenses  ;  for  in  Penguin  land  kings  as 
well  as  subjects  have  enough  to  marry  and  dower  their  daughters. 
'This  was  how  I  became  the  King's  son,  and  how  foolish  marriages  are 
made.  My  real  troubles  date  from  the  close  of  the  ceremony,  as  my 
wife  was  neither  very  handsome  nor  very  good. 

X. 

I  might  finish  here,  but  as  I  have  gone  so  far,  I  may  as  well  relate 
the  bitter  end. 

I  dreamt  one  night  that  I  beheld  my  first  love,  and  that  she 
beckoned  to  me  to  follow  her.  The  whole  scene  was  so  vivid  that 
when  I  awoke,  I  felt  I  could  recognise  the  spot  if  it  existed  in  any  part 
of  the  earth.  In  a  weak  moment  I  resolved  to  start  in  search  of  this 
heaven  and  its  goddess.  At  last,  I  left  the  Penguin  shore,  ostensibly 
on  a  diplomatic  mission.  For  two  whole  years  I  searched  the  world 
over ;  but  in  vain,  until,  just  as  1  was  giving  up  hope,  I  discovered  the 
object  of  my  solicitude  on  a  sandbank,  stooping  over  the  filthy 
remains  of  a  stranded  Whale,  in  the  society  of  a  ragged,  vicious-looking 
Cormorant,  the  meanest  of  birds.  This  then  was  the  Gull  of  my 
-dreams  !  the  spirit  of  the  air !  the  ideal  of  beauty,  the  Peri,  the  sylph, 
whose  seductive  image  had  cursed  my  life.  My  eyes  opened,  but  too  late 
to  discover  how  the  fool  mistakes  the  glitter  of  the  basest  metal  for 
the  lustre  of  pure  gold.  What  would  I  not  have  given  to  crush  the 
memory  of  my  folly  out  of  my  heart ;  to  begin  life  anew,  and  ponder 
well  the  first  false  steps.  Yet  I  reflected,  all  may  be  well,  better  far 
the  bitterest  truth  than  the  sweetest  falsehood. 

Setting  sail  for  Penguin  Island,  I  resolved  never  again  to  quit  it 
shore,  and  to  become  a  good  husband,  father,  and  prince. 

XI. 
On  landing,  I  first  visited  the  people,    who  were  well,  next,  my 


PUBLIC  AND  PRIVATE  LIFE  OF  ANIMALS. 


father-in-law,  who,  thank  God,  was  better  than  the  people.     I  then 


begap  to  look   for   my  dear  wife  and,  child,  and — good   heavens  !    I 


LIFE  AND  PHILOSOPHICAL  OPINIONS  OF  A  PENGUIN.  73 

found  my  family  had  increased  to  four.  My  wife,  poor  soul,  had  taken 
another  husband,  thinking  I  had  deserted  her. 

I  at  once  repaired  to  my  old  friend  and  travelling  companion,  whose 
ability  the  King  had  sought  to  reward  by  making  him  Prime  Minister ; 
but  he  refused  to  add  to  his  cares  that  of  office,  and  retired  to  live  as  a 
hermit  on  the  top  of  a  rock.  He  had  chosen  the  highest  rock  in  the 
realm,  whence,  far  above  the  turmoil  of  the  state,  he  bent  his  philo- 
sophic gaze  on  the  lower  world  which  he  had  abandoned  to  its  fate. 
I  felt  much  in  need  of  sympathy  and  advice.  After  recounting  my 
woes,  the  answer  of  the  recluse  sent  a  thrill  of  despair  through  my 
heart. 

"  Bah  ! "  he  said,  "  I  am  sick  of  all  the  aifairs  of  life.  Each  hour 
wounds,  but  happily,  the  last  kills  us.  Forget  your  troubles.  Arm 
your  heart  against  the  malignant  influences  that  mar  the  peace  of 
brutes  and  men.  Why  the  devil  should  you  be  happy?  (he  was  a 
profane  bird).  What  have  you  done  to  merit  happiness  ?  How  fared 
you  in  your  journey  ?  Have  you  seen  enough  of  the  world — sinned  too 
much  ?  Hah  !  hah  !  Is  your  punishment  greater  than  you  can  bear  ? 
Poor  deluded  Penguin  !  you  have  been  the  football  of  our  old  enemy, 
fate.  It  must  have  been  great  fun  for  the  old  rascal,  to  mark 
your  abortive  attempts  at  heavenward  flight  with  these  half-formed 
wings.  Hah  !  hah  !  what  a  capital  joke  !  " 

"You  seem  merry,  my  friend,"  said  I,  "your  levity  wounds  me 
deeply." 

"Listen,  my  child,"  he  replied.  "You  have  spent  the  best  of  your 
days  in  vain  pursuit  of  the  unattainable.  Depend  upon  it,  the  nearest 
approach  to  happiness  is  found  in  paths  obscure  and  humble.  Paths  of 
duty  along  which  kind  Providence  will  ever  act  as  our  guide." 

"  You  puzzle  me,"  I  remarked,  "  your  language  is  as  changeable  as 
English  weather.  At  one  moment  you  are  a  wicked  bird,  at  another  a 
moral  philosopher." 

"Nay,  friend,"  he  said,  "these  are  but  the  passing  moods  of  the 
mind.  I  am  told  that  men  as  well  as  birds  have  their  moods.  Even 
some  most  religious  men,  they  tell  me,  wear  a  sombre  cloak  to  con- 
ceal the  sinful  thoughts  that  are  always  present  with  them.  They 
resemble  the  shells  they  employ  in  warfare;  harmless  enough,  until 
thrown  to  the  ground  by  some  sudden  shock  of  passion  which  fires  the 
fuse  and  destroys  them.  It  seems  to  me,  in  order  to  succeed  in  the 
pursuit  of  happiness  you  must  prefer  clouds  to  sunshine,  rain  to  fair 


74 


PUBLIC  AND  PRIVATE  LIFE  OF  ANIMALS. 


weather,  grief  to  joy.  You  must  possess  nothing,  and  yet  find  yourself 
too  rich,  take  all  that  is  done  as  well  done,  all  that  is  said  as  well  said, 
believe  nothing,  and  yet  know  everything.  Dream  while  you  are 
living,  live  in  your  dreams.  After  all  when  you  feel  really  happy, 
have  patience,  and  time  will  surely  destroy  the  illusion." 

Here  the  philosopher  paused  for  breath. 

Reader,  if  you  are  unhappy,  let  me  counsel  you  to  take  warning  from 
the  life  of  a  poor  Penguin,  who  blighted  his  hopes  by  worshipping  at 
the  shrine  of  a  false  goddess. 


THE  JL(A5T  WoRD3  OF  AN  EPHEMERA. 

IT  was  the  opinion  of  the  savants  of  our  race  who  lived  in  ancient 
times,  many  minutes,  indeed,  before  we  came  into  being,  that  this  vast 
world  would  dissolve  and  disappear  within  eighteen  hours.     That  this 
hypothesis  is  not  without  foundation,  and  at  the  same  time  worthy  of 
the  erudition  of  the  ancients,  I  hope  to  be  able  to  prove.     The  great 
luminary  travelling  through  space  has,  during  my  own  time,  sensibly 
declined  towards  the  ocean  which  bounds  the  earth  on  all  sides.     If, 
therefore,  we  base  our  calculation  on  the  space  traversed  by  the  sun 
per  second,  it  will  be  found  that,  before  eighteen  hours  have  elapsed, 
his  fire  will  be  quenched  in  the  ocean,  and  the  world  given  up  to  dark- 
ness and  death.     He  has  already  passed  the  zenith.     For  all  that,  the 
moment  when  the  bright  disc  will  dip  beneath  the  waves  seems  distant 
as  eternity,  when  measured  by  the  span  of  our  lives.     I  myself  have 
enjoyed  several  moments  of  existence,  and  feel  age  creeping  on  apace. 
I  see  children  and  grandchildren  around  me  dancing  in  the  joyous 
light.      I  may  live  a  few  seconds  longer,  and  witness  many  changes ; 
yet  my  life  has  been  so  full  of  sad  experiences,  as  to  convince  me  that, 
in  the  course  of  nature,  I  must  soon  follow  those  who  have  gone  before. 
In  reviewing  my  past  existence,  while  clearly  discerning  its  failures 
and  follies,  I  venture  to  hope  that  it  has  not  been  altogether  misspent. 
My  researches   have   contributed   not  a  little  to  solve   some  of  the 
problems  connected  with  the  most  curious  phenomena  of  hedge-rows 
and  ditches,  keeping  altogether  out  of  account  the  facts  which  I  have 
established  connected  with  the  duration  of  the  earth.     I  have  applied 
the  most  refined  analysis  to  discover  the    true   constituents   of  the 
atmosphere,   and   the    meteorological    conditions   which   promote    or 
destroy  insect  life.     I  could  reveal  secrets  to  mankind,  to  which  their 
microscopes   and   spectroscopes   can   never   afford    the    faintest    clue. 
These  are  certain  elements  necessary  to  our  existence  only  known  to 
ourselves,  as  also  the  important  functions  we  perform  in  carrying  out 
the  wise  economy  of  nature. 

Men  are  blind  to  everything  that  does  not,  as  they  conceive,  bear 


76 


PUBLIC  AND  PRIVATE  LIFE  OF  ANIMALS. 


directly  or  indirectly  on  their  own  interest,  and  in  their  folly  they 
imagine  that  our  lives  are  worse  than  useless.  They  cannot  perceive 
that  we  are  ministering  spirits  of  the  air,  sent  by  an  all-wise  Creator  to 
correct  abuses  of  which  they  themselves  are  the  authors.  But  life  is 
short  •  all  too  short  for  the  labour  it  implies.  Alas  !  my  end  draws 
near,  and  my  friends  console  me  by  saying  that  I  have  done  enough  to 
earn  lasting  fame,  and  to  promote  the  happiness  of  my  race,  until  the 
eighteenth  hour  witnesses  their  destruction,  and  the  wreck  of  this  great 
plain  which  men  call  the  earth. 


THE   f3oRROW3  OF  AN   OLD  TOAD. 


MY  father  was  already  well  up  in 
years  and  corpulence,  when  the  joys 
of  paternity  came  upon  him  for  the 
last  time.  Alas !  his  happiness  was 
of  short  duration.  My  poor  mother's 
strength  was  overtaxed  with  a  dread- 
ful laying  of  eggs,  and,  in  spite  of  the 
tenderest  nursing,  she  at  last  suc- 
cumbed to  the  effort  of  bringing  me 
to  the  light.  I  was  brought  forth  in 
sorrow,  and  to  this  fact  I  attribute 
the  deep  shade  of  melancholy  which 
has  clouded  my  existence.  I  was 
always  of  a  dreamy,  contemplative  nature.  This,  indeed,  formed  the 
basis  of  my  character.  The  early  days  of  my  Tadpole  life  are  wrapped 
in  gloom,  so  dense  as  to  render  them  void  of  incident.  I  can  just 
dimly  recollect  my  father,  squatted  beneath  a  broad  leaf  on  the  bank 
of  a  stream,  smiling  benignly  as  he  watched  my  progress.  He  had 
always  a  soft,  liquid  eye,  in  whose  depths  I  could  read  the  love  of  his 
tender  heart.  His  eyes  were  of  a  greenish  hue,  and  protruded.  This, 
taken  together  with  his  noble  proportions,  his  enemies  attributed  to 
high  living.  He  was  in  reality  a  contemplative  Toad,  whose  greatest 
success  lay  in  the  cultivation  of  philosophic  leisure.  He  carefully 
avoided  the  water,  and,  little  by  little,  withdrew  himself  from  the 
scene  of  my  exploits.  I  am  ashamed  to  say  that  his  absence  never 
caused  me  to  shed  a  tear.  I  had  two  or  three  brothers  about  my  own 
age,  with  whom  I  giddily  threw  myself  into  all  the  pleasures  of  life. 
It  was  a  joyous  time  !  What  would  I  not  give  to  recall  those  fleeting 
hours  of  my  youth,  with  all  their  happy  experiences.  Where  is  now 
the  lovely  stream,  over  whose  dewy  banks  the  reeds  and  grasses  bent 
to  watch  the  play  of  sunlight  on  its  smiling  face  ?  Where  the  crystal 


78  PUBLIC  AND  PRIVATE  LIFE  OF  ANIMALS. 

pools,  the  scenes  of  my  adventures  in  an  enchanted  world  ?  the  dark- 
bearded  stones,  'neath  which  we  followed  many  a  giddy  course, 
our  hearts  throbbed  with  fright  as  we  came  face  to  face  with  some 
motionless  Eel,  or  touched  the  silver  scales  of  a  dreamy  Carp  ?  I  can 
recall  the  great  fish,  troubled  in  his  sleep,  viewing  us  with  a  quick, 
angry  glance,  until,  perceiving  our  shame  and  confusion,  he  smiled , 
and  we  renewed  our  game. 

It  is  impossible  to  describe  the  pleasure  of  being  rocked,  caressed 
and  fondled  by  the  current  as  it  pursues  its  tranquil  course.  Every 
ray  of  sunlight  that  found  its  way  through  the  willows  revealed  new 
wonders.  The  dull,  dead  sand  was  glorified  by  the  light  until  it  shone 
like  a  bed  of  jewels.  Myriads  of  creatures  seemed  to  spring  into  life. 
The  weeds  flashed  with  a  thousand  hues,  the  hard-hearted  pebbles 
flung  back  the  rays  with  a  brightness  that  pierced  the  deep  recesses  of 
the  stony  bed. 

Delirious  with  joy,  how  often  have  I  not  dived  to  mingle  with  the- 
light,  to  catch  something  of  the  fleeting  charms  it  scattered  so  lavishly 
around.  At  such  times  I  completely  lost  my  head.  (Pardon  me, 
dear  reader,  should  I  seem  to  exaggerate ;  a  Tadpole  who  has  lost  his 
head  must  make  the  most  of  his  tail,  as  he  has  nothing  more  left  to 
him.)  We  then  thought  ourselves  indomitable,  pursuing  shoals  of 
microscopic  fish  that  sought  and  found  shelter  beneath  the  stones. 
But  the  huge  Spiders,  walking  on  the  water  and  devouring  all  they 
came  across,  afforded  rare  sport.  Gliding  cautiously  up  behind,  we 
used  to  lick  the  soles  of  their  feet,  and  dart  off,  amazed  at  our  own 
audacity,  to  seek  cover  beneath  the  shade  of  lily  leaves.  I  have 
passed  whole  days  under  those  leaves,  examining  with  the  profound 
admiration  of  youth,  the  delicacy  and  beauty  of  their  configuration. 
In  each  one  of  their  pores  I  discovered  little  lungs,  and  such  a 
marvellous  organisation,  that  I  dared  not  touch  them,  so  much  was  I 
moved  by  the  notion  that,  like  ourselves,  they  must  have  feeling  as 
well  as  vitality.  These  reflections  intensified  my  curiosity  to  such  a 
degree,  that  I  made  my  way  among  the  roots  to  try  and  find  out  the 
secrets  of  plant  life,  and  see  for  myself  the  source  of  so  much  beauty. 
It  seemed  to  me  .that  the  water-lily  was  a  perfect  type  of  goodness.  It- 
ungrudgingly  displayed  its  charms  to  the  gaze  of  the  world,  at  the 
same  time  sheltering  with  its  broad  leaves  the  tenderest  forms  of  life^ 
Flower,  leaves,  and  root  alike  refused  to  yield  up  their  secrets,  and  yet 
though  silent,  every  detail  of  their  form  was  eloquent  with  the  praise 


THE  SORROWS  OF  AN  OLD  TOAD.  79 

of  their  Creator.  Thoughts  of  the  good  fellowship  subsisting  between 
plants  and  animals  brought  tears  to  my  eyes,  which  I  suppose  I  must 
have  shed  and  thus  swollen  the  stream  beneath  which  I  was  submerged. 
All  those  things  made  a  permanent  impression  on  my  mind,  although 
I  have  had  my  days  of  scepticism,  when  it  appeared  to  me  that  disorder 
and  misery  were  the  ruling  powers  of  the  world.  As  my  age  advanced, 
my  powers  made  corresponding  progress  ;  strange  longings  for  a  higher 
state  of  development  filled  my  head,  while  my  tail  shortened  and 
responded  more  and  more  tardily  to  its  office  of  oar  and  rudder. 
Sharp  pains  shot  through  my  posterior,  ending  in  the  growth  of  feet 
and  lungs.  In  truth,  I  was  becoming  a  Toad  !  The  transformation  is 
not  without  its  moral  significance.  New  members  brought  with  them 
obligations  to  which  I  was  a  stranger,  hardly  knowing  how  to  use  the 
attributes  Providence  had  placed  at  my  disposal. 

One  day,  I  descried  on  the  bank  of  the  stream  a  Goose  and  her 
family  about  to  take  their  daily  bath.  The  scene  was  not  new  to  me, 
but  the  emotions  which  filled  my  breast  differed  from  anything  I  had 
experienced.  The  Goslings  were  lying  all  of  a  heap  on  a  tuft  of  fine 
grass,  and  from  my  point  of  view,  presented  a  confused  mass  of  down, 
gilded  by  the  sun.  Here  and  there  a  little  yellow  beak  might  be  seen. 
But  the  immobility  of  their  position,  and  the  utter  abandonment  of  their 
postures  informed  me  of  their  perfect  contentment  and  tranquillity. 
The  young  brood  was  steeped  in  sleep,  while  the  mother,  bending  a 
tender,  watchful  eye  over  them,  uttered  a  sound  so  touching  to  their 
hearts,  that  every  eye  blinked,  and  every  beak  opened  with  a  joyous 
quack. 

"  Good  morning,  mother,"  they  seemed  to  say,  "  Is  it  time  for  our 
bath  1 " 

"  Yes,  lazy  little  ones.  Do  you  not  hear  the  music  of  the  stream, 
or  feel  the  heat  of  the  mid-day  sun  ?  Your  heads  are  exposed  to  its 
scorching  rays." 

"  O  mother !  don't  disturb  our  rest,"  they  replied.  "  You  have  no 
notion  of  our  comfort.  The  drowsy  humming  of  the  bees,  the  languid 
nodding  of  the  harebell,  and  the  scent  of  the  new-mown  hay  are 
soothing  us  to  sleep." 

"  Hush  your  silly  prattle  and  wake.  A  little  courage,  a  little  self- 
denial,  my  dears,  and  up  with  you." 

This  was  too  much  for  the  Goslings  who  slowly  separated,  presenting 
a  confusion  of  pink  feet,  plushy  wings,  and  golden  beaks  most  inter- 


8o 


PUBLIC  AND  PRIVATE  LIFE  OF  ANIMALS. 


esting  to  behold.  Some  rolled  over  and  over  in  their  attempts  to  gain 
their  legs.  At  length  they  succeeded,  and  went  waddling,  and 
wagging  their  stumpy  tails  streamwards.  When  they  reached  the 
water's  edge,  after  many  hesitations,  strivings,  and  chatterings,  they 
at  last  stretched  their  necks  and  entered  boldly  to  float  with  the 
current. 


"  Strike  out,  my  dears,"  said  the  dame.  "  Heads  erect,  mind.  It  is 
supremely  vulgar,  my  children,  to  bend  the  head  unless  to  pick  up 
something  to  your  advantage.  Kick  the  water  bravely  ;  it  is  made  to 
serve  you." 

It  was  a  beautiful  sight,  and  I  was  about  to  ask  permission  to 


THE  SORROWS  OF  AN  OLD  TOAD.  8r 

make  one  of  their  number,  when  the  mother,  in  passing,  haughtily 
tossed  her  beak  in  the  air,  saying,  "  Avoid  slimy  toads,  and  all  such 
creatures — their  presence  is  defiling  ! " 

Judge,  dear  reader,  of  my  pain  and  surprise.  I  dived  into  a  dark 
pool  to  drown  my  wounded  pride.  When  I  again  came  to  the  surface, 
the  interval  had  transformed  me  into  a  truly  melancholy  toad.  A 
large  spider,  with  whom  I  had  become  acquainted,  passed  over  my  head, 
smiling  kindly  at  me ;  but  he  won  no  responsive  smile.  Feeling  need 
of  breath,  I  mechanically  sought  the  bank,  and  was  startled  by  a  hoarse 
voice  shouting — 

"  Confound  you,  reptile  !  "  I  turned,  and  perceived  a  gay  personage 
decked  in  blue  and  gold — a  Kingfisher.  "  What  are  you  doing  there, 
stupid  ?  You  with  the  four  superfluous  feet,  body,  head,  and  eyes. 
You  slimy  scoundrel !  Don't  you  know  your  vile  presence  poisons  the 
stream  ?  Get  out,  else  I  will  swallow  you  like  a  gudgeon.  Ugh !  " 
I  thought  he  was  going  to  be  sick.  "  Make  off,  you  frighten  my 
clients."  He  was  a  fine-looking  fellow,  the  colour  of  heaven  itself ; 
but  with  a  voice  like  a  lawyer,  or  the  devil.  To  tell  the  truth,  I  was 
so  afraid  of  him  that  I  made  for  the  bank.  When  fairly  out  of  the 
water,  I  leant  over  its  surface  to  return  thanks  for  all  the  pleasure  it 
had  afforded  me.  To  my  horror,  I  beheld  at  my  feet  a  strange  mis- 
shapen thing,  bearing  some  likeness  to  my  father.  I  moved  my  head, 
it  did  the  same ;  I  raised  my  feet,  it  imitated  the  motion. 

"  Hah  !  hah  !  "  shrieked  the  Kingfisher,  "  you  lovely  coquette  !  what 
do  you  think  of  your  beautiful  proportions  ? " 

"  What ! "  I  said,  "  is  that  my  image  ? " 

"  Yes,  my  treasure ;  are  you  not  proud  of  the  picture  1 " 

It  was  all  too  true.  There  I  was,  and  the  willows  above  me  as  a 
frame,  and  the  blue  heaven  as  a  background  to  my  poor  image. 
Well,  after  all,  I  thought  the  pure  mirror  of  the  stream  was  perhaps 
my  truest  friend,  as  it  taught  me  to  know  myself.  Bidding  adieu  to 
my  former  haunts,  I  turned  my  back  upon  the  stream,  and  soon  felt 
humbled  and  forsaken.  My  departure  was  quite  unnoticed.  The  river 
went  on  its  way  as  before,  not  a  single  blade  of  grass,  not  an  insect 
moved  to  wish  me  a  happy  journey.  Could  I  then  be  so  completely 
dispensed  with,  I  who  at.  first  had  thought  the  world  all  my  own  1  I 
felt  so  ashamed  of  giving  offence  that  I  asked  pardon  of  the  King- 
fisher, who  replied — 

"  Go  to ! "  I  dare  not  repeat  his  answer,  it  was  of  such  a  nature 

F 


82  PUBLIC  AND  PRIVATE  LIFE  OF  ANIMALS. 

as  to  convince  me  that  he  was  a  bird  of  the  world.     Day  began  to- 
decline,  and  feeling  fatigued,  I  sat  down  to  rest.     Being  of  a  dreamy 
disposition,  I  found  pleasure  in  contemplating  nature.     In  front  was  a 
forest  wrapped  in  a  veil  of  purple  mist,  behind  which  the  sun  was- 
setting  and  shooting  its  rays  like   fiery  arrows  through  the  leaves. 
Above,  the  calm  sky  was  of  a  pale  green  hue,  so  soft,  so  full  of  tender- 
ness, it  filled   my  breast  with  the  feeling  that  after  all  I  was  not 
forsaken,  and  gave  me  courage  to  live  on.     Pray  do  not  set  me  down- 
as  a  foolish  toad,  living  on  the  pleasures  of  imagination.     It  is  in  such 
follies  as  these  that  I  have  found  the  chief  joys  of  my  life.     The  dis- 
inherited ones  of  earth  must  gather  consolation  where  they  can.     The 
air  was  hushed,  the  flowers  and  grasses  sparkled  with  dewy  gems,  the 
birds  had  sought  their  evening  perches,  and  were  singing  each  other 
to  sleep.     All  around  were  crowds  of  little  beings,  pushing  on  to  their 
homes,  tired  of  the  business  of  the  day  and  covered  with  dust.     Some 
one,  doubtless,  was  waiting  and  watching  for  the  return  of  each  insect 
wanderer.     Such  thoughts  as  these  again  weighed  down  my  heart  with 
a  feeling  of  utter  loneliness  and  despair.     Happily,  not  far  from  where- 
I  stood,  I  perceived   a  hole  between  two  roots,  which  I  prudently- 
approached,  and  timidly  feeling  the  walls,  I  entered.    Surely,  I  thought, 
this  will  prove  a  quiet  resting-place,  when  I  heard  a  regular  mono- 
tonous noise  resembling  some  one  snoring. 

"  Who  is  there  1 "  cried  a  gruff  voice ;  at  the  same  moment  I 
felt  a  sharp  prick  in  my  hind-quarters. 

"  I  am  a  young  toad,  sir,  not  long  out  of  the  water." 

"  Oh,  horrors  ! "  continued  the  voice. 

"Forgive  my  intrusion,  I  will  leave  your  house."  My  eyes  had 
become  accustomed  to  the  darkness,  and  I  made  out  my  adversary  to- 
be  a  jagged  ball — a  porcupine,  would  you  believe  it  ?  This  redoubtable 
personage  was  rather  good  to  me.  The  stab  with  his  quills,  which 
had  nearly  killed  me,  still  causes  great  suffering  in  damp  weather.  On 
my  assurance  that  I  did  not  snore,  he  allowed  me  to  pass  the  night  in 
his  quarters.  After  he  had  a  fair  view  of  me,  he  cried — 

"  You  are  ugly  !  and  that  is  drawing  it  mild.  You  are  ugly,  feeble, 
clumsy,  impotent,  silly  !  " 

"  Yes,"  I  murmured,  for  I  felt  he  spoke  the  truth. 

"You  little  affected  monster,  do  not  add  to  your  ridiculous  appear- 
ance by  simulating  wisdom  and  modesty.  You  are  neither  rich 
enough  nor  independent  enough  to  indulge  in  such  vanities.  You  are 


THE  SORROWS  OF  AN  OLD  TOAD.  83 

doomed  to  be  hated,  strive  to  hate  in  return,  it  will  give  you  strength, 
and  when  one  is  strong,  one  is  joyful.  Should  any  one  approach  you, 
spit  at  him  !  Resent  even  a  look  by  your  noxious  spittle.  Show  your 
spots,  your  wounds,  your  slimy  horrors.  Make  men  flee  and  dogs  bark 
at  your  hideousness.  May  the  hatred  of  others  be  a  shield  to  you. 
You,  if  you  are  not  a  fool,  will  find  joy  in  hating.  Be  proud  of  your 
horrible  envelope,  as  I  am  of  my  quills,  and  above  all,  do  as  I  do — love 
no  one." 

"  If  you  do  not  love  me  a  little  " — here  he  burst  out  laughing — 
"just  a  very  little,  why  do  you  give  me  such  good  advice  \ " 

"Why,  my  simple  friend,"  he  said,  "I  do  not  love  you.  You 
amuse  me,  since  the  role,  you  are  about  to  play  resembles  my  own.  My 
enemies  will  be  yours  also.  Don't  you  see  that  the  prospect  of  wounding 
their  superfine  feelings  through  such  an  ugly  medium  affords  me  a  new 
pleasure  ?  Let  us  be  mutually  accommodating,  a  joint-stock  thorough 
nuisance  to  all  who  affect  to  loathe  what  God  has  made  for  some  good 
end.  I  hardly  know  what  I  am  made  for,  and  next  to  erecting  my 
quills  offensively,  like  the  bayonets  on  which  some  thrones  are  built, 
my  chief  happiness  consists  in  doing  nothing." 

These  maxims  seemed  odious  to  me.  I  had  no  hand  in  making  my- 
self, otherwise  my  mouth  should  have  been  more  contracted,  and  my 
stomach  less  capacious.  Had  I  been  consulted,  I  hardly  think  I 
would  have  chosen  a  "  fretful  porcupine  "  as  my  model,  nor  yet  my 
father,  poor  old  toad !  who  lived  a  contented  sober  life,  and  died 
regretting  that  his  paunch  had  reached  its  fullest  rotundity.  It  was 
no  fault  of  mine  that  I  inspired  horror.  If  ugly  and  deformed,  I  was 
endowed  with  a  profound  love  of  the  beautiful,  which  compensated  in 
some  measure  for  my  awkward  appearance,  and,  if  I  may  use  the 
expression,  with  a  merciful  provision  of  vanity,  which  enabled  me 
ever  to  admire  and  cherish  my  own  body.  If  my  body  was  all  too 
solid  to  respond  to  my  every  wish,  yet  my  dreams  and  imaginings  were 
unfettered  as  the  wind.  The  reader,  if  he  cares  to  study  the  habits  of 
such  an  humble  creature  as  the  toad,  will  discover  much  truth  in  what 
I  say  ;  moreover,  if  he  be  an  ill-favoured  person,  he  may  find  comfort  in 
my  philosophic  view  of  life. 

A  love-sick  toad  may  be  deemed  by  some  an  object  worthy  of 
ridicule ;  nevertheless,  as  my  romantic  experiences  form  one  of  the 
most  eventful  pages  in  my  history,  I  am  bound  to  take  the  reader  into 
my  confidence. 


84  PUBLIC  AND  PRIVATE  LIFE  OF  ANIMALS. 

I  had  reached  that  period  of  development  when,  rejoicing  in  the 
strength  of  youth  and  the  full  maturity  of  my  faculties,  I  leaped  from 
place  to  place,  not  without  aim,  as  many  might  suppose,  but  in  the 
pursuit  of  knowledge,  frolic,  or  recreation.  The  sun  shone  brightly, 
grass  and  flowers  were  in  full  bloom  around,  breathing  an  intoxicating 
perfume  into  the  midday  air,  when  I  first  beheld  the  object  of  my 
dreams.  My  enemies  may  think  me  a  plagiarist,  and  that  I  have  lifted 
my  sentiment  from  some  modern  novel.  All  I  can  say  is  that  my  book 
is  nature,  which  I  recommend  to  the  study  of  writers  of  fiction,  many 
of  whose  works  would  poison  the  morals  of  toads,  for  these  prefer 
unadorned  truth  to  the  gaudy  tinsel  of  the  literary  showman. 

My  love  was  bewitching  in  her  dress  of  pale  green.  Oh  how  fondly 
I  followed  her  with  my  eyes  as  she  leaped  from  leaf  to  leaf,  until  at 
last  I  beheld  her  against  the  sky,  her  silken  wings  spread  out  to  their 
fullest,  descending  lightly  on  to  a  blade  of  grass,  which  bending,  swayed 
to  and  fro  in  the  breeze !  Flying  in  the  air,  toying  with  the  flowers, 
making  them  quiver  on  their  stems  without  soiling  a  single  petal,  skim- 
ming the  placid  water,  admiring  her  own  image  on  the  wing,  this  fair 
creature  won  my  heart.  Vainly  I  strove  to  court  her  glance,  forgetful 
that  a  vile  toad  in  love  is  no  more  pleasing  to  the  eye  than  a  toad  in 
grief  or  any  other  mood.  At  last  she  turned  towards  me,  and  in 
that  weak  moment  I  tried  to  smile,  thinking  I  should  look  less  repul- 
sive. Alas !  I  discovered  that  my  capacious  mouth,  bloated-looking 
eyes,  and  unyielding  physiognomy,  were  powerless  to  respond  to  the 
sentiment  of  my  heart.  Besides,  my  pretty  grasshopper  failed  to  see 
me,  or  mistook  my  form  for  a  clod  of  earth.  Soon  a  deep  shadow  fell 
across  me,  and  turning,  I  perceived  a  chubby  boy  advancing  slowly, 
cautiously,  armed  with  a  huge  net  at  the  end  of  a  long  stick.  I 
had  already  frequently  observed  him  trying  to  catch  butterflies  and 
winged  insects.  When  one  of  these  poor,  pretty,  perfect  little  things 
escaped  him,  he  lost  his  temper  with  his  coveted  prize,  and  savagely 
continued  pursuit,  crushing  the  first  victim  that  fell  to  his  net.  I  said 
to  myself,  "  This  is  horrible !  To  this  boy  it  appears  a  crime  for  an 
insect  to  strive  to  escape  death.  What  have  they  done  to  warrant 
such  a  fate  ?  They  have  not  even  the  misfortune  to  be  ugly."  This 
cruelty  had  such  an  effect  on  me,  that  one  night  I  dreamed  I  saw  large 
toads  become  light  and  mobile,  catching  men-children  in  their  nets,  and 
pinning  them  to  the  trunks  of  trees.  I  accepted  the  dream  as  a  bad 
omen,  and  rightly,  for  not  long  after  I  descried  the  child  coming  to- 


THE  SORROWS  OF  AN  OLD  TOAD.  85 

wards  the  grasshopper,  and  divined  that  he  was  bent  on  capturing  my 
lady-love.  Not  a  moment  was  to  be  lost.  I  saw  the  danger,  calculated 
my  distance,  and  leaped  just  to  the  spot  where  the  boy's  foot  fell ;  he 
slipped  on  my  back  and  rolled  to  the  ground. 

My  love  escaped  from  the  snare  !  But  I  suffered  greatly,  having  one 
of  my  hind-feet  crushed  and  broken ;  yet,  in  spite  of  my  agony,  it  was 
the  sweetest  moment  of  my  life.  The  child  got  up  crying,  and  seeing 
the  cause  of  his  fall,  ran  off  in  terror,  only  stopping  in  his  flight  to  cast 
a  stone  at  me.  Happily  he  was  as  unskilful  as  wicked,  and  I  was  left 
with  only  a  few  scratches.  My  heroine,  who  had  taken  in  the  whole 
situation,  came  towards  me  accompanied  by  many  friends.  I  should 
have  preferred  her  being  alone.  Her  companions  were  daintily  dressed, 
perfumed  with  the  fine  essence  of  flowers,  and  seemed  to  be  led 
towards  me  more  by  curiosity  than  compassion.  When  they  had 
gathered  around,  I  raised  my  eyes  in  hope  of  the  happiness  that  I 
thought  awaited  me. 

"  Is  it  this  poor  wretch,  did  you  say,  my  darling,  who  was  crushed  ? " 
murmured  a  grasshopper  in  the  tone  of  one  about  to  perform  a  very 
disagreeable  duty.  "  Oh  !  ah  !  This  is  really  disgusting.  Mark  the 
creature's  wounds — how  horrible !  If  one  were  not  sustained  by 
elevated  sentiments,  one  would  feel  inclined  to  quit  the  scene.  Oh,  the 
hideous  monster!  Is  it  not  strange  that  heroism  should  appear  in 
such  ignoble  guise  1 " 

Here  this  heartless  drivelling  fool  stroked  his  chin  with  his  foot  and 
looked  as  if  he  had  said  rather  a  good  thing.  My  grasshopper-goddess 
laughed  affectedly,  and  I  think  made  a  sign  to  them  to  fetch  her  the 
strongest  perfume  to  stifle  the  odour  of  my  bleeding  body.  Addressing 
me,  she  said,  "  Say,  my  good  fellow,  why  did  you  render  me  this 
service  ?  Do  you  know  that  yours  was  a  fine  action  ?  " 

The  moment  had  arrived  for  me  to  cast  myself  at  her  feet  and  pro- 
claim my  love,  and  I  stammered  out,  "  Willingly  would  I  have  sacri- 
ficed my  life  to  save  you,  my  love  !  my  treasure  !  my  " 

Sad  to  relate,  my  voice  was  drowned  in  the  coarse  laughter  of  the 
lady  and  her  foolish  friends. 

"  Upon  my  honour,"  said  one,  *'  this  is  a  gay  toad  !  "  "  Hah  !  hah  ! 
a  mangled  toad  in  love!"  roared  another.  "Isn't  he  a  romantic- 
looking  creature  1  "  inquired  a  third.  "  Come,  ladies,  one  of  you  waltz 
with  him.  Nay,  don't  go  too  near,  I  think  he  has  teeth." 


86  PUBLIC  AND  PRIVATE  LIFE  OF  ANIMALS. 

They  then  walked  round  and  examined  me  with  their  glasses  in  the 
most  insulting  manner. 

"I  find  him  less  hideous  than  grotesque,"  murmured  the  queen. 
"It  is  his  head  that  is  unique.  Why,  his  face  is  enough  to  make  the 
daisies  yellow,  and  freeze  the  swamps  with  fright !  Have  you  all  seen 
his  eye  1 " 

"  Yes  !  yes  !  his  eye,"  they  replied,  "  is  very  strange  !  very  strange  ! " 

Could  anything  be  more  galling  to  ray  pride  to  be  thus  made  the 
butt  of  these  hateful  fools?  Had  they  stabbed  me  to  the  heart,  I 
think  I  should  have  survived  in  spite  of  them,  but  their  jeers  and 
laughter  made  me  die  a  thousand  deaths.  Under  the  dominion  of 
proud  sentiment  (of  which  I  am  now  heartily  ashamed),  I  raised  my- 
self on  my  bleeding  foot  and  addressed  the  grasshoppers. 

"I  ask  you  for  neither  pity  nor  recompense.  You  yourselves 
witnessed  " 

"  Listen  ! "  said  one ;  "  he  speaks  well,  although  thick,  like  a  person 
in  liquor." 

"This  is  horribly  interesting." 

f<  You  witnessed,"  I  continued,  almost  fainting,  "  an  act  of  devotion. 
I  loved  "——  The  hilarity  burst  forth  anew,  and  the  grasshoppers,  no 
longer  able  to  control  themselves,  joined  hands  and  danced  round  me 
like  a  troop  of  green  devils,  singing— 

"  Hail,  lover,  hail !  joy  to  your  tender  heart." 

They  certainly  enjoyed  themselves  thoroughly  that  day.  After  all, 
they  had  only  obeyed  their  nature,  and  I  had  mistaken  my  own. 

I  had  fully  proved  my  own  vanity  and  stupidity — at  least,  that  was 
the  opinion  of  my  friend  the  Porcupine,  who  that  night  drove  me  out 
of  his  den. 

From  that  time  I  felt  myself  an  outcast,  and  sought  humbly  to  win 
the  favour  of  my  own  kind  by  making  myself  useful  in  my  own  proper 
sphere.  I  became  almost  a  creature  of  the  night,  and  lost  sight  of 
much  of  the  beautiful  that  had  charmed  me,  for  the  world  is  full  of 
beautiful  things  to  those  who  can  look  out  of  and  beyond  themselves. 
It  boasts  also  fortunate  beings  whose  lives  would  be  all  the  more  happy 
if  they  would  only  consent,  now  and  then,  to  yield  up  one  of  their 
joyous  hours  to  gladden  the  hearts  of  the  poor.  I  ask  you,  dear  reader, 
is  it  not  so  1  You  may  be  a  creature,  charming  in  person,  refined  in 
manner,  and  successful.  Their  attributes,  as  you  use  them,  may  make 


THE  SORROWS  OF  AN  OLD  TOAD. 


you  either  a  god-like  ministering  spirit  in  the  world,  or  a  fascinating 
fiend.  Your  strong  sympathy  and  timely  help  may  lighten  the  burden 
•of  the  poor,  may  cause  a  deformed  brother  to  forget  his  deformity  and 
delight  in  your  beauty  as  much  as  if  it  were  his  own.  There  would 
be  no  plain-looking  or  even  ugly  creatures  to  curse  the  day  of  their 
birth,  were  there  no  cruel,  well-favoured  observers  to  wound  them 
-with  their  looks  and  gestures.  But  I  am  forgetting  the  lesson 
-which  I  myself  learned  late  in  life.  I  had  put  myself  in  the  way  of 
finding  out  by  experience  that  a  poor  toad  could  never  have  wings, 
nor,  though  everything  is  fair  in  love  and  war,  could  he  hope  to  win 
•the  heart  of  a  grasshopper. 

I  am  now  full  of  years  and  philosophy  ;  my  wife,  like  myself,  is  a 
contemplative  full-bodied  toad,  in  whose  eyes  I  am  perfectly  beautiful. 
I  must  own  my  appearance  has  greatly  improved.  The  like  compli- 
ment cannot  be  honestly  paid  to  my  mother-in-law,  who  has  caused  me 
no  small  trouble.  She  increases  in  age  and  infirmities.  The  reader 
will  pardon  my  repeating,  that  notwithstanding  my  rotundity,  I  am  no 
longer  ugly.  Should  he  have  any  doubt  on  this  point,  let  him  ask 
my  wife  ! 


THE  THEATRICAL  CRITIC. 


MY  DEAR  MASTER, 

OU  must  feel  alarmed  during 
this  hot  weather  at  seeing  the 
walls  inscribed  with  "  Death  to 
poodle-dogs,"  having  yesterday,, 
with  your  own  hand,  sent  me 
adrift  without  either  muzzle- 
or  collar.  You  knew  that  I 
wanted  my  liberty ;  I  was  in- 
deed constrained  to  beg  of  you 
to  let  me  go  by  what  you  would 
term  "  some  subtle  indescrib- 
able impulse."  To  tell  the  truth,, 
the  conversation  you  carried  on 
with  your  friends  about  Boileau,. 
Aristotle,  Smith's  last  book,  and 
the  "  five  unities,"  proved  dulL 
I  listened  to  you  as  long  as  I 
could,  then  yawned,  and  barked 

as  if  I  heard  some  one  at  the  door.     Nothing  would  for  one  instant. 
draw  your  attention  from  scientific  discussion. 

You  even  pushed  me  off  your  knee  just  as  you  had  clinched  an 
argument  by  pointing  out  that  the  ancients  were  always  the  ancients. 

It  was  truly  unkind  of  you  to  persist  in  remaining  indoors  when  duty 
and  inclination  called  me  abroad.  At  last  you  let  me  go.  I  had  found 
on  the  table  an  order  for  a  stage-box  in  the  Theatre  of  the  Animals,  a 
glorious  place  where  they  were  only' waiting  for  you  and  me.  For  two 
reasons  I  will  refrain  from  writing  down  a  full  review  of  the  play^: 
first,  because  I  am  only  a  novice  in  the  art ;  and  secondly,  because  you, 
my  master,  gain  your  bread  by  descriptive  writing.  How  could  you 


THE  THEATRICAL  CRITIC. 


89 


cram  your  paper  daily  if  you  had  not  at  hand  all  the  stock  phrases  of 
dramatic  criticism?  As  for  myself,  I  feel  rich  in  the  mine  of  poesy 
that  prompts  every  wag  of  my  shaggy  tail. 

I  should  be  an  ungrateful  dog  if  I  robbed  you  of  your  capital.  Your 
imagination  I  have  nothing  to  find  fault  with,  seeing  that  your  greatest 
successes,  as  a  dramatic  critic,  were  penned  on  plays  you  never  took 
the  trouble  to  witness. 

I  made  my  wa}r  to  the  theatre  on  foot,  for  the  weather  was  fine.  I 
came  across  some  agreeable  acquaintances  on  the  way,  all  going  with 
their  noses  to  the  wind.  The  bulldog  at  the  door  respectfully  inclined 
his  head  as  I  entered  the  box  and  threw  myself  carelessly  into  a  chair, 
my  right  foot  on  the  velvet  cushion  in  front,  and  my  legs  resting  on 
a  couch.  This  graceful  attitude  you  yourself  assume  when  preparing 
to  sit  out,  or  sleep  out,  a  five-act  play. 

I  had  hardly  been  seated  two  minutes  when  the  orchestra  was 
invaded  by  musicians.  These  personages  were  the  gayest  to  behold. 
The  flute  was  played  by  a  goose,  while  a  donkey  struck  the  harp — asinus 
ad  li/ntn),  wrote  some  erudite  poet.  A  turkey  clacked  in  E  flat.  The 


symphony  began,  and  resembled  those  of  which  you  speak  so  enthusi- 
astically every  winter.  The  curtain  then  rose,  and  my  troubles  as  a 
critic  commenced. 

It  was  a  very  solemn  drama,  written  by  a  sort  of  greyhound,  or  half- 


93  PUBLIC  AND  PRIVA  TE  LIFE  OF  ANIMALS. 

greyhound  and  half-bulldog,  a  half-English  half-German  animal,  who 
liad  entered  the  Dogs'  Institute  of  Paris. 

This  great  dramatic  poet,  whose  name  is  Fanor,  has  a  way  of  manu- 
facturing dramas  as  ingenious  as  it  is  simple.  He  first  goes  to  Mr.  Puff's 
Pug  and  demands  a  subject,  next  he  makes  his  way  to  Mr.  Scribe's 
Poodle  and  engages  him  to  write  it.  When  the  play  is  put  on  the 
stage,  he  employs  six  pariahs  to  applaud  it,  brutes  they  are  who  bark 
savagely.  He  is  a  wonderful  fellow.  Fanor  wears  his  coat  well 
brushed  and  most  artistically  curled,  altogether  he  is  just  the  sort  of  cur 
to  wait  upon  rank  and  bow  it  into  the  boxes. 

The  play  was  said  to  be  new.  Let  us  skip  the  first  scene.  It  is 
always  the  same' — servants  and  confidants  explaining  the  nature  of  the 
crimes,  griefs,  intrigues,  virtues,  or  ambitions  of  their  masters. 

Do  you  know,  my  master,  it  was  perhaps  a  great  mistake  to  remove 
the  muzzles  of  our  poets.  The  traffic  in  the  sublime  has  been  left  to 
an  unmuzzled  race  of  poodle-dog  poetasters.  It  was  not  so  with  the 
ancients  who  wore  the  bands  of  art,  and  who  dwelt  far  from  the  common 
•crowd  within  the  temple  of  the  Muses.  As  well-fed  watchdogs,  they 
were  thus  restrained  from  poking  their  noses  into  the  accumulated  filth 
of  history. 

There  is  more  in  the  muzzle  than  one  would  think.  It  is  a  safe- 
guard against  the  spread  of  the  hydrophobia  of  literature,  so  prevalent 
in  our  own  times,  and  requiring  all  the  bullets  of  cold-blooded  critics 
to  keep  it  in  check.  Evils  other  than  the  unnatural  howlings  and  riot 
of  modern  tragedy  are  caused  by  liberty.  There  is  an  unearthing  of  old 
bones,  which  are  scraped,  polished,  and  displayed  as  the  product  of 
that  modern  genius  the  nineteenth-century  dramatist,  who  with  tragic 
instinct  consigns  the  memory  of  their  real  owners  to  eternal  death  and 
oblivion. 

The  tendency  of  some  grovelling  dogs  thus  to  become  resurrectionists 
is  too  well  known  to  require  further  comment  at  my  hands.  Death  to 
those  who  before  us  said  what  we  will  to  say,  "  Pereant  qui  ante  nos 
nostra  dixerunt/" 

Little  by  little  the  plot  expanded.  When  the  pugs  had  revealed  all 
their  masters'  secrets  and  hidden  thoughts,  the  masters  themselves  ap- 
peared, and  in  their  turn  gave  us  the  paraphrase  of  what  had  preceded, 
together  with  the  culmination  of  their  passions.  If  you  only  knew 
how  many  odious  persons  I  beheld.  Imagine  two  old  foxes  in  mourning 
for  their  tails  :  these  with  a  couple  of  superannuated  wolves,  recumbent, 


THE  THEATRICAL  CRITIC.  91 

and  gazing  vacantly  around ;  a  pair  of  badly-licked  dancing  bears,  waltz- 
ing to  soft  music ;  weasels  with  frayed  ears  and  gloved  hands,  made  up 
a  staff  of  threadbare  comedians,  all  professing  their  loves  and  passions 
on  the  stage.  Yet  I  am  told  that  outside  the  theatre  door  they  would 
tear  each  other's  eyes  out  for  a  leg  of  mutton  or  horse's  ham.  But  I 
had  for  the  moment  forgotten  that  the  secrets  of  public  life  should  be 
carefully  walled  around,  so  I  dutifully  returned  to  my  analysis,  in,  I 
own,  a  roundabout  sort  of  way.  The  language  was  not  very  intelligible. 
It  was  all  about  the  sorrows  of  unfortunate  Queen  Zemire  and  her  lover 
Azor.  You  have  no  notion  of  the  singular  and  unaccountable  stuff 
crowded  into  this  hybrid  composition. 

The  beautiful  Zeinire  is  a  Queen  of  Spain,  descended  from  a  noble 
stock,  counting  among  her  ancestors  a  jolly  dog  named  CaBsar. 

In  the  back-kitchen  of  the  castle,  and  in  the  noble  role  of  turnspit,  a 
mangey  animal,  but  withal  a  worthy  fellow,  named  Azor,  turned  the 
queen's  spit  (while  Queen  Zemire  had  turned  his  head).  He  says — 

"  Belle  Zemire,  0  vous,  blanche  comme  1'hermine, 
O  mon  bel  ange  &  1'ceil  si  doux 
Quand  done  h,  fin  prendrez-vous 
En  pitid  mon  amour,  au  fond  de  la  cuisine,"  &c.  &c. 

These  verses,  improvised  by  the  pale  light  of  the  lamp,  were  found 
admirable.  The  friends  of  the  poet  exclaimed,  "  Ah  !  sublime  !  They 
are  perfumed  with  the  profoundest  sentiment ! "  In  vain  the  linguists 
— curs,  griffins,  and  boars — sought  to  criticise.  "Why,"  said  they, 
*'  should  kitchen  and  cookery  in  a  high-class  composition  be  mixed  up 
with  flowers  and  sentiment?  What  was  there  in  a  turnspit  and  its 
associations — the  devouring  appetite  of  the  queen,  <kc. — to  fan  the 
flame  of  passion  1  "  These  expressions,  let  fall  at  random,  nearly  cost 
them  their  seats. 

The  verses  were  forcibly  rendered  by  Azor,  who  scratched  himself 
at  intervals,  either  to  relieve  his  feelings  or  lend  piquancy  to  his 
love.  At  last  the  lover  subsided  into  his  daily  barking  prose. 

"  Zemire  !  Zemire  !  Oh  how  I  long  to  kiss  the  ground  beneath  thy 
feet !  "  (in  carrying  out  this  ardent  desire  he  would  have  encountered  no 
reasonable  difficulty,  as  the  full-bodied  lady  left  her  footprints  wher- 
ever she  trod — this  by  the  way).  Azor  howls  in  his  agony  of  heart, 
when  the  kitchen-boy  all  at  once  throws  some  hot  cinders  into  his  eyes 
to  remind  him  of  his  neglected  duties  at  the  spit. 

I  must  tell  you  that  in  the  castle  there  is  a  nasty  dog,  a  Dane  named 


92  PUBLIC  AND  PRIVATE  LIFE  OF  ANIMALS. 

Du  Sylva,  an  intimate  friend  of  the  Count's  horses,  with  whom,  for  his 
own  pleasure,  he  goes  hunting.  He  is,  as  you  shall  see,  a  cur  fierce, 
jealous,  implacable,  and  desperately  wicked.  He  is  hopelessly 
enamoured  of  the  beautiful  Zemire,  who  treats  the  attentions  of  this 
northern  boor  with  scorn.  What  does  the  Dane  do  \  He,  of  course,, 
dissembles  with  such  craft  one  would  imagine  he  had  forgotten  the 
insults  heaped  upon  him.  Alas !  the  traitor  is  only  biding  his  time. 
One  day  he  finds  Azor  in  the  castle  moat,  looking  fondly  towards  his 
lady's  nest.  "Azor,  follow  me,"  says  the  Dane.  He  obeyed,  and 
followed  with  his  tail  hung  pensively  between  his  legs.  What  does 
the  Dane  then  do  1  He  led  Azor  to  a  neighbouring  pool,  and 
ordered  him  to  plunge  and  remain  there  for  an  hour.  Azor  obeys 
gladly.  The  cool  water  soothes  his  skin,  and  carries  off  the  taint  of 
cooking.  It  imparts  lustre  to  his  disordered  fur,  grace  to  his  sickly 
body,  vivacity  to  his  eyes,  which  have  been  dimmed  by  the  light  of 
the  fire.  Leaving  the  pool,  Azor  rolls  with  delight  on  the  sweet- 
smelling  grass,  impregnating  his  coat  with  the  odour  of  flowers.  He 
completes  his  toilet  by  whitening  his  teeth  against  the  lichen  of  an  old 
tree.  That  done,  he  feels  the  return  of  youth.  The  warm  blood 
throbs  through  his  heart,  and  his  pensive  tail  wags  briskly  with  the 
sense  of  new  life.  The  whole  world  seems  to  open  before  him.  There 
is  nothing  to  which  he  may  not  aspire,  not  even  the  paw  of  Zemire. 
At  sight  of  these  extraordinary  transports  the  Dane  laughed  in  his 
sleeve,  like  the  crafty  rascal  he  was.  He  seemed  to  mutter,  "  Curses 
fall  upon  you,  fool !  You  shall  pay  dearly  for  my  fellowship  ! " 

I  ought  to  tell  you,  master,  that  this  scene  was  played  with  great 
success  by  the  celebrated  Laridon.  He  is  perhaps  rather  stout  and 
old  for  his  role,  nevertheless,  as  they  say  in  the  papers,  his  energy  and 
chic  carry  all  before  them. 

Perhaps  the  finest  scene  was  laid  in  the  forest  of  Aranjuez,  when 
the  queen-dog  walked  pensively  along  with  ears  cast  down,  and  a 
poodle  held  her  graceful  tail.  Suddenly,  at  the  bend  of  a  path, 
she  encounters  Azor — Azor  renewed,  resplendent — the  Azor  of 
her  dreams.  Is  it  really  he  1  Oh  mystery  !  oh  terror  !  oh  joy  !  ! 
Their  eyes  meet,  and,  eloquent  with  passion,  tell  their  tale  of  love. 
Everything  was  forgotten  in  those  moments  of  bliss.  Had  any  one 
reminded  Zemire  that  she  filled  one  of  the  proudest  thrones  in  the 
world,  she  would  have  replied,  "What  of  that,  so  long  as  one  loves  ?  " 
Had  Azor  been  informed  of  his  humble  position,  he  would  simply 


THE  THEATRICAL  CRITIC. 


93 


have  shown  his  teeth.     Oh  delights, 
to     conclude    mv   exclamations,    oh 

JKL 


e  shown  his  teeth.     Oh  delights,  miseries,  joys  of  love  !  and  also, 
conclude   my   exclamations,    oh    vanity   of  vanities  !   know   that 


every  door  has  a  hinge,  every  losk  a  key,  on  the  rose  is  a  grub,  in  the 


94 


PUBLIC  AND  PRIVATE  LIFE  OF  ANIMALS. 


kennel  a  dog,  and  to  every  lamp,  for  the  most  cogent  reason,  there 
belongs  a  wick,  and  so  in  the  forest  of  Aranjuez  there  lurks  a  terrible 
Dane  who  views  our  friends'  behaviour  from  afar. 


"  Ah  !  oh  !  so  you  love  each  other,  do  you  1    Tremble  !  tremble  !  for 


THE  THEATRICAL  CRITIC. 


95 


your  fate."  While  speaking  thus,  when  Zemire  had  quitted  the  scene, 
the  Dane  approached  Azor.  "  So  !  so  !  "  said  he,  "  Zemire  thinks  you 
angelic  in  your  borrowed  beauty.  You  must  now  assume  the  skin  of 
a  porcupine,  and  with  quills  erect,  dirty,  hideous,  smeared  with  sand 
and  ashes,  show  yourself  to  Zemire,  and  break  the  spell  that  binds  her  ! " 
Thus  howled  the  Dane,  giving  full  vent  to  his  passion  in  foaming  rage. 
Poor  Azor  obeyed,  and  appeared  before  his  mistress.  Standing- 
beneath  a  frightful  long-beaked  heron,  he  bowed  to  the  queen,  declaring 
that  he  had  played  her  false,  as  he  was  only  an  obscure  turnspit,  and 


begging  her  forgiveness.  Then  he  remained  motionless,  prepared  for 
his  doom.  Zemire  cast  herself  at  his  feet,  "  Ah  ! "  she  said,  "  let  me 
share  your  sorrows.  I  love  you  still,  even  in  your  vile  condition. 
There  !  I  give  you  my  paw  in  the  face  of  all  the  world." 


96  PUBLIC  AND  PRIVATE  LIFE  OF  ANIMALS. 

During  this  touching  scene  the  whole  house  was  moved  to  tears,  and  at 
the  close  came  down  with  thunders  of  applause.  Every  one,  beasts  and 
birds — even  to  a  flea  on  the  tip  of  my  nose — seemed  delirious  with 
excitement.  With  great  presence  of  mind  I  bit  the  tail  of  an  impul- 
sive cock,  arresting  his  flight  to  the  stage  to  challenge  the  Dane.  In 
a  few  soothing  words  I  assured  him  that  the  villain  was  really  a  very 
decent  fellow  in  his  own  house.  At  the  same  time  I  reminded  him 
that,  as  the  village  cock,  he  might  be  missed  in  the  morning  from  his 
dunghill,  where  he  performed  the  useful  office  of  heralding  the 
dawn. 

The  curtain  fell  on  the  fourth  act.  As  to  the  fifth,  I  do  not  intend 
to  usurp  your  place  as  critic,  but  will  conclude  by  saying  that  in  this 
act  the  dogs  had  become  tigers — a  natural  metamorphosis  of  which 
good  authors  avail  themselves.  The  tiger,  with  equal  consistency, 
killed  his  wife  by  mistake,  and  consoled  himself  by  slaughtering  his 


friends.  It  seems,  when  fairly  married,  Zemire  became  a  tigress. 
This,  I  have  heard,  is  one  of  those  unaccountable  changes  which  not 
^infrequently  occur  in  real  life.  Be  that  as  it  may,  the  curtain  at  last 
fell  on  scenes  of  crime,  murder,  and  confusion. 

After  the  close  of  the  drama,  attendants  handed  round  refreshments. 
As  for  me,  I  followed  your  example.  As  it  was  the  first  night  of  represen- 
tation, I  left  the  box  at  once  with  the  air  of  one  burdened  with  thought ; 
and  making  my  way  to  the  green-room,  joined  a  group  of  theatrical 
critics  walking  about  with  a  supercilious  pedantic  air.  One  had  the 


THE  THEATRICAL  CRITIC.  97 

sting  of  the  wasp,  another  the  beak  of  the  vulture,  a  third  the  cunning 
of  the  fox.  Beasts  of  prey  were  there,  hungering  for  helpless  victims. 
Lions  proudly  showing  their  teeth.  Of  mischievous  animals  of  all 
sorts,  it  was  a  goodly  company.  I  ought  to  inform  you,  as  soon  as  it 
became  known  that  you  belonged  to  me  I  was  permitted  to  go  behind 
the  scenes,  and  to  cultivate  the  acquaintance  of  the  actors.  But  I 
must  now  conclude  this  rambling  review,  a  friendly  greyhound  is  wait- 
ing to  join  me  at  supper. 


THE  PHILOSOPHIC 


PERSONAGES. 

GNAWER,  Rat  with  grey  beard. 
TROTTER,  A  young  rat,  pupil  of  Gnawer. 
BABOLIN,  Dispenser  of  holy  water. 
TOINON,  Daughter  of  Bab  din. 
A  YOICE. 

SCENE    I. 

A  DINING-ROOM  MODESTLY  FURNISHED. 

GNAWER  alone,  coming  and  going,  seemingly  much  preoccupied. 

MY  pupil  Trotter  is  coming  to  share  my 
dinner.  I  hope  he  may  find  no  cause 
to  regret  his  old  master's  invitation 
[smelling  an  old  piece  of  cheese  he  found 
under  the  table].  There  now  is  a  bit 
of  cheddar  whose  delicious  perfume 
would  make  a  dead  rat  come  to  life  ! 
We  shall  hear  what  my  pupil  thinks  of 
it.  The  rats  of  the  rising  generation 
are  so  strange  they  seem  to  care  for 
nothing.  Nothing  pleases  them,  or 
dispels  the  frown  they  constantly  wear. 
In  my  young  days,  we  were  less  fastidious,  we  took  things  as 
they  came.-  One  day  we  dined  off  corn,  another  off  wood — wood  or 
corn,  it  was  all  the  same  to  us.  Now,  alas  !  all  is  changed.  There  is 
no  contentment.  If  my  pupils  have  bacon  and  nuts,  they  lament  the 
absence  of  cheese.  What  is  the  world  coming  to  ?  Trotter  is  late,  I 
wonder  if  anything  has  happened  to  him. 


THE  PHILOSOPHIC  RA  T.  99 


SCENE    II. 
THE  OLD  RAT  AND  HIS  YOUNG  PUPIL. 

Trotter.  [Looking  in  at  the  window.']  Master,  may  I  come  in? 
Gnawer.  What !    by  the  window  1  can't  you  find  the    door  ?     But 
1  forgot,  you  rats  of  the  modern  school  never  do  as  others  do.     Come, 
let  us  dine,  the  things  have  been  waiting  long  enough. 

Trotter.  Master,  it  is  no  fault  of  mine  if,  instead  of  crawling  under 
the  door,  I  was  obliged  to  make  a  long  journey  round  and  come  over 
the  roof. 

Gnawe)\  [Laughing.]  Nor  mine  that  I  know  of.     [He  helps  himself.] 
Try  a  little  of  this  grilled  nut ;  it  is  delicious  ! 
Trotter.  [Gloomily.]  I  suppose  it  is  my  fate. 
Gnau-er.  Again  prating  about  fate.     Can't  you  leave  fate  alone  ? 
Trotter.  Master,  fate  is  never  tired  of  persecuting  us.     Is  it  not  fate 
that  has  filled  the  hole  you  cut  with  such  labour  at  the  bottom  of  the 
door?  so  that  your  friends  and  neighbours  might  find  no  difficulty  in 
visiting  you. 

Gnau-er.  And  you  really  think  that  fate  filled  up  the  hole  1 
Trotter.  What  else  could  it  be,  tutor  ? 

dii'ncer.  It  was   Toinon.     [He  helps  him.]     This  lard  is  delicious. 
There  is  no  one  save  Toinon  has  such  good  lard. 
Trotter.  But  who  is  Toinon,  tutor? 

Uinnrer.  The  mistress  of  the  house,  daughter  of  Babolin.  The 
most  charming  woman,  oh  !  and  such  a  worker.  She  toils  at  sewing 
from  morning  till  night. 

Trotter.  And  pray  what  interest  can  she  have  in  stopping  up 
holes  1 

Gnawer.  What  interest?  [Laughing.]  Taste  this  cheddar.  Why, 
her  legs  to  be  sure  j  Toinon  hates  draughts.  Besides,  she  is  a 
charming  girl,  who  makes  crumbs  when  eating,  and  always  leaves  the 
cupboard  door  open.  She  will  make  an  excellent  wife.  I  wish  I 
could  marry  her. 

Trotter.  [JPith  bitterness.]  You? 

Gnawer.  [Good-naturedly]  Yes,  I  wish  I  could  marry  her — to  a  youth 
she  loves.  It  would  give  me  the  greatest  pleasure  to  make  two  such 
beings  happy.  Who  can  prevent  me  ? 


ioo  PUBLIC  AND  PRIVATE  LIFE  OF  ANIMALS. 

Trotter.  Reflect,  master ;  you  are  but  a  miserable  rat,  and  yet  you 
speak  of  rendering  human  beings  happy.  We  are  of  a  despised  race. 
There  is  nothing  so  mean  in  the  eyes  of  men  as  rats.  "  Poor  as  a  rat " 
is  a  common  phrase  with  them. 

Gnawer.  Your  temper  is  soured,  my  boy.  Let  us  walk  to  aid  diges- 
tion. The  fresh  air  may  clear  your  mind  of  these  notions.  Did  you 
ever  come  across  the  songs  of  Be"ranger  1  He  says  that  the  poor, 
or  rats,  if  you  prefer  it,  have  for  their  portion  probity,  wisdom,  and 
happiness.  A  celebrated  Scotch  poet  has  even  spoken  of  mice  and  men 
in  the  same  line — 

"  The  best-laid  schemes  o'  mice  and  men 
Gang  aft  a-gley." 

That  line  recalls  some  incidents  that  have  come  under  my  personal 
notice,  where  the  wisdom  of  the  rat  proved  superior  to  the  schemes  of 
men. 

Trotter.  Yes;  it  is  all  very  well  talking,  nevertheless,  the  fact 
remains.  We  are  a  doomed  race.  Romantic  ideas,  however  well 
expressed,  will  never  feed  the  poor,  or  rats,  when  dying  from  hunger. 

Gnawer.  Yes ;  who  is  in  the  habit  of  dying  from  hunger  ?  Are  you  1 
Did  you  die  yesterday  ?  Are  you  dying  to-day  1 

Trotter.  [Aside  in  a  mysterious  tone.]  Who  knows  1  [Aloud.]  If  I  do 
not  die,  others  do.  Have  you  forgotten  Ratapon  and  his  numerous 
family  1  They  suffered  for  several  days  from  hunger  :  taking  heart, 
they  asked  their  neighbours  for  help  ;  but  the  first  they  came  to,  a  big 
fat  porker,  whose  sty  was  full  of  corn  and  vegetables 

Gnawer.  Well,  I  know  what  happened  to  them  as  well  as  you  do. 
Roused  by  their  cries,  Mr.  Pig  looked  over  the  wall,  and  addressing 
them  in  a  surly  tone,  said,  "  What  is  all  this  noise  ?  What  do  you 
vagrants  want?"  "  Your  charity,  my  lord."  "Be  off  instantly.  How 
dare  you  interrupt  me  in  the  middle  of  my  dinner  ?  " 

Trotter.  That  was  all  that  came  of  it ;  only,  next  morning  the  bodies 
of  Ratapon  and  his  family  were  found  scattered  over  the  country. 
Want  and  despair  had  killed  them. 

Gnaiver.  Want  and  despair  !  You  are  drawing  on  your  imagination, 
my  boy.  It  was  simply  poison — some  balls  of  lard-and-arsenic  which 
they  greedily  swallowed  without  waiting  to  send  them  to  the  parish 
analyst. 

Trotter.  What  more  simple,  more  soothing  than  death?     Is  it  not 


THE  PHILOSOPHfC-WAT. 


roi 


our  lot  1  Are  we  not  menaced  with  cats,  poison,  and  traps  every  day 
of  our  lives  1 

Gnawer.  Yet  we — some  of  us — reach  a  happy  and  honoured  old 
age. 

Trotter.  Yes ;  nevertheless,  it  seems  to  me  that  every  hour  of  our  life 
is  full  of  misery. 


Gnaiver.  A  thousand  evils  and  misfortunes  overcome  are  preferable 
to  the  event  that  deprives  one  of  life. 


102  PUBLIC  'AND  'PRIVATE  LIFE  OF  ANIMALS. 

Trotter.  Better  for  fools,  but  the  courageous  rat  has  no  love  for  a 
life  full  of  torments,  and  casts  it  from  him. 

Gnawer.  Ah,  so  you  contemplate  suicide?  and  would  withal 
be  accounted  a  wise  and  courageous  rat.  It  is  a  gay  thought  to 
toss  lightly  away  the  life  you  lack  the  courage  to  defend  and 
protect. 

Trotter.  This  is  no  time  for  jesting ;  I  am  sick  of  life,  and  I  give  it 
up. 

Gnaiver.  Believe  me,  you  are  wrong.  Life  is  not  a  bad  thing.  It 
has  its  hours  of  joy  and  hours  of  sorrow.  I  myself  have  more  than 
once  seen  our  last  foe  face  to  face,  and  yet  I  live.  The  traps  made  by 
man  are  not  so  cleverly  constructed  that  one  may  not  escape  from 
them,  and  the  cat's  claws  are  not  always  fatal.  If  my  poor  father  were 
living,  he  would  tell  you  how  by  patience  and  perseverance  a  rat  may 
draw  himself  out  of  even  the  most  perilous  situations.  I  was  still  very 
young  when  one  day  the  smell  of  a  nice  piece  of  bacon  led  him  into 
one  of  those  traps,  vulgarly  called  rat-traps.  We  all  met  around  his 
prison,  and  imitating  our  poor  mother,  wept  and  clamoured  for  his 
release.  My  father,  calm,  dignified,  and  self-possessed  even  in  mis- 
fortunes, said,  "  Stop  your  crying  and  work,  every  mother's  son  of 
you.  The  enemy  may  be  hidden  only  a  few  steps  off.  Those  traps 
invented  by  the  perversity  of  man  are  simple  enough.  The  door  Hangs 
on  a  lever  "  (my  father  had  finished  his  education  by  devouring  a  dry 
scientific  encyclopaedia;  he  therefore  knew  a  little  of  everything). 
"It  is  said  that  a  lever  and  a  weight  might  lift  the  world.  If  by 
applying  weight  to  this  lever  you  can  give  me  back  my  liberty,  you 
shall  have  achieved  a  nobler  work.  All  of  you  climb  to  the  top  of 
my  prison  and  hang  on  to  the  long  end  of  the  lever."  Executing  his 
orders  promptly,  we  succeeded  in  raising  the  door  and  saving  my  father. 
Suddenly,  with  a  terrible  spring,  a  furious  Tom  cat  leaped  upon  us. 
"Fly!"  cried  my  father,  whose  courage  remained  unshaken — "fly!  I 
alone  will  face  the  enemy."  A  fierce  struggle  ensued,  in  which  my 
father,  severely  wounded,  lost  his  tail,  but  not  his  life.  Soon  after  he 
regained  our  domestic  hole,  and  while  we  licked  the  blood  from  his 
wounds,  he  smilingly  said  to  us,  "  You  see,  my  children,  danger  is 
like  drifting  wood — portentous  in  the  distance,  paltry  when  it  has 
drifted  past." 

Trotter.  [Coolly.]  That  is  just  my  sentiment ;  I  have  no  dread  of  dan 
ger,  I  could  face  anything. 


THE  PHILOSOPHIC  RA  T. 


'33 


At  this  moment  a  noise  is  heard  like   a   pebble   on   the   window, 
Trotter  is  about  to  flee,  Gnawer  prevents  him 


^wWTSTTiis,. 

Gnawer.   Ah,   my   friend,   where   is   your   boasted  courage?     You 


104  PUBLIC  AND  PRIVATE  LIFE  OF  ANIMALS. 

begin  to  face  danger  by  running  away.  Calm  yourself,  I  know  this- 
signal.  It  is  Toinon's  lover  throwing  stones  at  the  window.  We  may 
remain  here.  Lovers  are  dangerous  to  no  one,  they  only  think  of 
themselves. 


SCENE    III. 

THE   SAME. 

Toinon  has  softly  opened  the  door  and  crossed  the  room  on  tiptoe  ;. 
she  approaches  the  window  and  whispers,  "  Is  that  you,  Paul  ?  How 
very  imprudent !  Oh  !  if  my  father  were  to  come  in." 

A  Voice.  It  is  now  two  whole  days  since  I  saw  you.  I  could  wait 
no  longer.  Is  your  father  still  opposed  to  me  1 

Toinon.  More  than  ever,  love  !     He  means  to  go  to  law. 

Paul.  What  ?  to  law  about  my  cousin  Michonnet's  house  1 

Toinon.  Exactly. 

Paul.  Seeing  that  it  was  left  to  me  lawfully,  it  is  mine. 

Toinon.  My  father  has  a  will  which,  he  says,  renders  yours  invalid. 

Paul.  He  is  wrong.  Besides,  if  he  would  only  consent  to  our  union 
the  house  would  be  his  as  well  as  mine. 

Toinon.  He  says  he  hates  you,  and  it  would  be  better  I  should  die 
an  old  maid  than  marry  a  scamp. 

Paul.  [Piteously.]  Do  you  also,  my  darling,  share  his  opinion] 

Toinon.  Alas ! 

Gnawer.  [Aside.]  That  alas  goes  to  my  heart.  It  says  more  than 
enough. 

Paul.  Heavens  !  your  father  is  coming  down  the  street  !     I  am  off. 

Toinon.  [Retreating  from  the  window.]  If  only  he  escapes  unobserved.- 
If  he  does  not,  what  shall  I  do  ?  [She  enters  her  room.] 


SCENE    IV. 

THE   SAME. 

Trotter.  Hah  !   hah !      Old   Babolin    will    spoil   your    matrimonial 
scheme,  my  master ! 

Gnawer.  I  have  decided  that  this  marriage  shall  take  place. 


THE  PHILOSOPHIC  RAT.  105 

Trotter.  That  of  course  alters  the  matter.  If  you  have  pledged  your 
word,  Babolin  must  fall. 

Gnawer.  Yes,  certainly  ! 

Trotter.  Is  Babolin  a  weather-cock,  that  you  can  turn  him  at  will  1 

Gnawer.  No ;  he  is  anything  but  a  weather-cock.  It  would  almost 
take  a  surgical  operation  to  get  a  notion  out  of  his  rat's  head  when  it 
is  once  there. 

Trotter.  [Astonished.]  Is  the  parent  of  this  fair  girl  a  rat  ? 

Gnawer.  No,  not  exactly.  He  is  what  men  call  a  Church  Rat.  He 
dispenses  holy  water  at  the  door  of  Notre  Dame,  and  sells  candles 
to  the  faithful,  which  they  piously  light  in  honour  of  God  and  the 
saints. 

Trotter.  I  know.  The  candles  which  are  lit  on  the  shrine  when, 
their  owners  are  present,  and  carefully  extinguished  and  saved  when 
they  have  gone,  by  order  of  the  thrifty  saints  perhaps.  So  men 
in  their  pious  thrift  exact  a  heavy  percentage  of  profit  out  of  holy 
things. 

Gnawer.  Come !  come  !  You  may  grow  indignant  at  your  leisure. 
I  hear  Babolin  approaching.  Let  us  leave  him  a  clear  field  ;  he  might 
tread  on  us. 

SCENE    V. 
Enter  BABOLIN. 

So,  so !  In  spite  of  my  express  wishes  he  meets  my  daughter.  Comes 
like  a  thief  to  the  window  under  cover  of  night.  I  shall  show  them 
what  I  am.  [Calls  Toinon ;  Toinon  enters.]  Where  are  my  rights  as  a 
father  ?  where  are  they  ?  It  is  Mr.  Paul  who  mocks  me  !  [As  if 
struck  with  an  idea,  he  pauses.]  What  if  I  said  nothing  about  my 
mischances  ?  If  I  acted  the  clement  loving  father.  Paul  loves  my 
daughter.  My  daughter  loves  Paul.  If,  like  the  really  kind-hearted 
man  that  I  am,  I  yield  to  their  wishes  1  That  would  do  me  honour, 
and  make  me  appear  before  the  world  a  model  of  virtue  and  forbear- 
ance. [Approaching  his  daughter.}  Say,  my  little  Toinon,  does  it  grieve 
you  very  much  not  to  wed  your  Paul  ?  [Toinon,  whose  heart  is  too  full 
for  speech,  bursts  into  tears.]  Toinon,  if  instead  of  going  to  the  lawyer 
we  go  to  the  notary  ? 

Toinon.  [Smiling  like  the  sun  through  a  rain-cloud.']  To  the  notary,  my 
father  ? 


io6  PUBLIC  AND  PRIVATE  LIFE  OF  ANIMALS. 


Babolin.  Yes,  my  darling,  that  he  may  hasten  to  draw  up  your 
marriage  contract. 

Toinon.  With  whom,  my  dear  papa  1 

Babolin.  With  Paul. 

Toinon.  [Throwing  her  arms  round  his  neck]  0  my  dear  father  !  how 
good  !  how  kind  of  you  !  I  dared  not  speak  openly  to  you  for  fear  of 
giving  you  pain ;  yet  without  Paul  I  should  have  died. 

Babolin.  Confound  it !  no.  You  must  not  dream  of  dying.  Come 
to  the  notary. 

SCENE    VI. 

STITCH-GNAWER  AND  LITTLE  TROTTER. 

Gnawer.  Well,  what  do  you  say  to  all  this,  my  little  pupil  1 

Trotter.  I  say  you  are  a  sorcerer.  As  to  the  will  of  the  late  Mr. 
Michonnet,  what  has  become  of  it  1  have  you  hidden  it  ? 

Gnawer.  I  inherit  my  father's  love  of  books  and  curious  docu- 
ments. He  was  a  learned  rat,  having  devoured  some  of  the  oldest 
.and  dryest  works  in  his  master's  library.  It  will  not  surprise  you, 
therefore,  to  learn  that  this  morning  I  gratified  my  natural  taste,  and 
.at  the  same  time  served  my  young  friends,  by  breakfasting  off  the 
will  of  the  deceased  Michonnet.  Thus,  thanks  to  my  timely  aid,  a 
lawsuit — one  of  the  greatest  evils  of  this  lying  age — has  been  nipped 
in  the  bud,  and  a  wedding  concluded.  You  see,  my  dear  pupil,  that 
notwithstanding  our  miserable  condition,  we,  if  we  do  not  neglect  our 
opportunity,  can  render  the  greatest  service  to  humanity.  But  what 
.ails  you  that  you  caress  your  tail  so  pensively  ? 

Trotter.  Oh,  I  was  only  thinking  that  we  would  neglect  our  oppor- 
tunities were  we  not  present  after  the  wedding  breakfast.  There  will 
be  no  end  of  good  things  going. 

Gnawer.  Very  good.  You  have  wisely  abandoned  the  idea  of 
suicide  ? 

Trotter.  I  should  rather  think  I  have.  The  world  has  many  traps  ; 
but  it  has  also  its  tit  bits  of  old  cheese,  for  which  sudden  death  would 
spoil  one's  appetite. 

Gnawer.  These  are  sage  reflections,  but  pray  bear  in  mind  the 
lesson  of  the  lost  will.  The  destruction  of  this  instrument,  so  small 
in  itself,  happily  turned  the  tide  of  events  for  generations  to  come. 
The  wise  householder  sets  his  foot  on  the  spark  that  would  have 


THE  PHILOSOPHIC  RA  T. 


107 


consumed  his  whole  substance.  The  loving  heart  crushes  the  first 
cruel  word  that  would  wreck  his  happiness.  The  mariner  marks  the 
little  cloud  on  the  horizon,  furls  his  sails,  and  his  trusty  bark  rides 
out  the  tempest.  Your  humble  servant  has  gnawed  through  the  lines 
by  which  an  unworthy  father  left  an  inheritance  of  misery  to  his 
children. 


THE   $UFFERiNQ5  OF  A  BEETLE. 

IOLET,  who  is  the  most  amiable  and 
sensible  dove  in  the  world,  wore,  the 
other  day,  a  very  pretty  pin  in  her  collar. 
A  lettered  antiquarian  owl  told  her  it 
was  perfectly  charming. 

"Indeed,"  said  Violet,  "it  is  a  present 
from  my  godmother,   and  represents  an 
insect  on  a  peony  leaf.     By  means  of  this 
talisman  common  sense  is  secured,  enabling 
one  to  see  all  things  in  their  true  light,  nob 
through  the  illusive  medium  of  passion." 
The   owl   approached   to  examine  the 
jewel,  but  the  dove,  perceiving  that  her 
white  neck  against  which  it  rested  inter- 
fered with  his  minute  inspection,  took  it  off  and  gave  it  to  him. 

"  I  will  return  it  to-morrow,"  said  the  bird  of  night.  "  During 
my  nocturnal  studies  the  insect  may  disclose  its  history,  then  will 
I  know  the  secret  of  your  wisdom  and  beauty." 

As  soon  as  the  owl  reached  home,  seeking  the  retirement  of  his  study, 
he  placed  the  pin  on  the  table.  Directly  he  had  done  so,  the  beetle 
walked  about  on  the  leaf.  The  insect  was  green,  and  its  whole 
demeanour  spoke  of  a  worthy  and  candid  nature.  Passing  a  polished 
foot  over  its  eyes,  stretching  out  first  one  wing  then  the  other,  it 
directed  its  pointed  proboscis  to  the  owl,  and  with  a  mingled  air  of 
modesty  and  intelligence  proceeded  to  relate  its  story  in  the  following 
words  : — 

"  I  was  born  on  the  banks  of  the  Seine,  in  a  garden  named  after  a 
temple  of  the  goddess  Isis.  My  parents  had  been  consigned  to  their 
last  resting-place  by  weevils,  when  I  woke  to  the  consciousness  of 
existence  beneath  the  shade  of  a  Mimosa  pigra,  the  sensitive  idler, 
whose  juice  was  my  first  aliment.  The  wife  of  an  excellent  gardener 


THE  SUFFERINGS  OF  A  BEETLE.  109 

had  taken  me  in,  but  while  she  was  absent  at  market  I  expanded  my 
wings  and  flew  away.  My  companions  were  simply  beasts,  so  I  found 
my  sweetest  associates  in  wild  flowers,  and  poppies  became  my  special 
favourites.  I  was  already  well  grown,  and  amused  myself  by  looking 
for  bushy  roses,  and  chasing  the  busy  bees  who  stopped  for  a  moment 
to  joke  with  me.  Alas  !  these  joyous  days  passed  like  a  dream.  A 
craving  for  the  unknown  gradually  forced  itself  upon  me  and  rendered 
my  simple  habits  contemptible.  I  at  length  decideol  to  raise  the  veil 
of  the  future,  and  have  my  fortune  told  by  a  weird  Capricorn  beetle 
who  passed  for  a  soothsayer,  and  who  spent  her  days  in  a  lonely  part 
of  the  garden. 

"  She  wore  a  long  robe  covered  with  cabalistic  signs.  Setting  out 
for  her  cave,  the  crone  received  me  graciously,  and  after  describing 
certain  mystic  circles  with  her  horns,  she  examined  my  foot,  saying, 
*  Thou  art  one  of  a  noble  line.  The  horns  of  thy  forefathers  have  been 
proudly  exalted,  and  as  woefully  depressed  by  fate.  Whence  comest 
thou  to  this  lonely  place  1  I  had  deemed  thy  race  long  extinct,  had  I 
not  seen  thee.  The  armour  of  thy  ancestors  can  alone  be  found  in  the 
collections  of  entomologists.  Happiness  may  never  be  thine  ! ' 

"'Now  then,  old  woman,7  I  said,  'my  ancestors  are  dead  and  no 
manner  of  good  to  me.  Tell  me,  once  for  all,  am  I  likely  to  play  an 
important  part  in  the  world,  or  am  I  not?  I  feel  fit  for  anything.' 

"  '  Hear  him,  ye  powers  invisible  ! '  cried  the  witch.  '  Thou  wouldst 
willingly  be  a  Don  Juan !  consent  to  drink  the  nectar  of  the  gods  ! 
feast  with  the  immortals,  and  cancel  the  debt  of  thine  imprudence  by 
suffering  the  tortures  of  Tantalus.  Like  Prometheus,  thou  wouldst 
steal  the  celestial  fire  at  the  risk  of  being  torn  by  vultures.  Alas  ! 
thou  wilt  need  no  prompting  to  find  misery  enough  and  to  spare.  I 
will  endow  thee  with  the  vile  instinct  of  common  sense,  remove 
the  mask  from  all  that  glitters  and  is  not  gold;  dissolve  the  fair 
form  of  things,  and  reveal  the  ghastly  skeletons  they  conceal.' 

"  I  left  this  cave  and  its  hideous  old  witch,  feeling  discomfited  by 
her  strange  prognostics.  For  all  that,  I  still  burned  with  the  desire  to 
cast  myself  into  the  garden  of  Isis,  where  thousands  of  insects  swarmed, 
rejoicing  in  its  intoxicating  air.  One  day,  while  taking  a  morning 
walk  through  a  kitchen-garden,  I  fell  in  with  a  rhinoceros  beetle 
meditating  beneath  the  shade  of  a  lettuce.  Trusting  to  his  wisdom,  I 
humbly  besought  him  to  favour  me  with  some  of  those  flowery  and 
precious  counsels  which  Mentor  bestowed  upon  Telemachus. 


I io  PUBLIC  AND  PRIVATE  LIFE  OF  ANIMALS. 


THE  SUFFERINGS  OF  A  BEETLE.  in 

"  '  It  will  afford  me  the  greatest  pleasure  in  life,'  he  replied.  '  Your 
appearance  recalls  some  famous  old  pictures  in  Lord  Diamond's  collec- 
tion. You  evidently  come  of  a  brilliant  line  of  beetles.  Do  you  see  the 
bloom  of  luxury  in  yonder  garden  ?  Your  horns  and  credentials  will  at 
once  gain  you  an  introduction  there  into  our  set — the  finest  society  in  the 
world.  The  life  will  be  new  to  you,  but  the  jargon  is  easy.  You  must 
make  some  polite  contortions  before  the  mistress  of  the  house,  and  when 
you  have  listened  attentively  to  all  the  current  nonsense  of  the  day, 
you  will  be  regaled  with  a  little  hot  water,  after  which  you  can  amuse 
yourself  with  the  dragon-flies.  Take  care  to  listen  patiently  to  all  the 
unkind  things  whispered  about  intimate  friends.  You  are  not  required 
to  make  remarks.  Judicious  silence  will  better  establish  your  claims  to 
sentiment,  poetic  feeling,  and  profundity,  than  any  remarks  you  could 
hope  to  offer.  Your  acquirements  will  be  gauged  by  your  power  of  appre- 
ciating the  wit  or  wisdom  of  those  who  address  you.  Above  all,  be 
careful  to  whom  you  give  your  heart,  as  you  are  almost  certain  to  be 
deceived.  These  will  make  up  the  list  of  your  pleasures,  while  your 
duties  will  be  light  and  easily  performed.  Five  or  six  times  a  year 
military  dress  must  be  worn  and  tactics  studied,  when  you  shall  be 
required  to  obey  implicitly  the  orders  of  the  hornets.' 

"  '  Five  or  six  times  ! '  I  exclaimed.     '  What  a  frightful  task  ! ' 

" '  The  country  requires  it.  Go  now  and  enjoy  your  privileges. 
You  are  warned.' 

"  This  gloomy  picture  of  my  prospective  joys  and  privileges  would 
have  scared  any  beetle  less  green  and  less  intrepid  than  myself.  The 
impetuosity  of  youth  carried  me  on,  and  I  looked  upon  the  rhinoceros 
as  an  old  croaker,  who  had  seen  too  much  of  the  world  and  of  this 
particular  garden. 

"  '  Come  with  me,'  said  he  at  last,  c  society  waits  our  appearance/ 

"  I  formed  a  close  intimacy  with  a  May  bug,  who  one  day  said,  '  I 
shall  take  you  to  the  theatre,  and  other  places  of  amusement,  where  we 
may  spend  a  pleasant  evening.' 

1  'My  new  friend  asked  if  I  was  a  lover  of  music.  'Yes,'  I 
replied ;  '  in  the  garden  of  my  nativity  we  had  some  very  fine  tom- 
tits.' 

"  '  AVe  have  something  much  better  than  that  to  offer  you.  I  shall 
introduce  you  to  the  Academy,  where  we  shall  listen  to  the  sublime 
in  art.' 

"My  companion,  before  entering,  readjusted  his  feelers  and  collar. 


ii2  PUBLIC  AND  PRIVATE  LIFE  OF  ANIMALS. 

He  then  procured  tickets  from  a  wood-louse  stationed  at  the  entrance 
of  a  large  acanthus  flower.  The  concert-hall  was  filled  by  one  of  the 
most  brilliant  assemblages  of  the  season.  Certain  well-known  mem- 
bers of  the  insect  aristocracy  thronged  the  private  boxes,  gazing 
around  with  that  air  of  superfine  insolence  which  freezes  the  muscles 
of  the  face  into  an  expression  of  languid-icy  indifference.  Slender- 
waisted  wasps  and  dragon-flies  formed  charming  groups;  while  a 
crowd  of  restless  fleas  filled  the  upper  gallery.  Flies  in  solemn  black 
— as  if  mourning  for  the  frivolity  of  the  hour — were  seated  in  the 
pit,  patiently  waiting  to  regale  their  ears  with  the  music. 

"  '  This  gathering,'  I  said, '  conveys  a  pleasing  impression  to  my  mind. 
It  is  astonishing  to  see  youth  and  beauty  so  thoroughly  engrossed  with 
the  prospect  of  listening  to  good  music.' 

"  '  Do  not  deceive  yourself,  my  friend,'  replied  the  May  bug.  *  It  is 
not  the  art  of  the  musician  that  is  the  chief  attraction.  These  are, 
most  of  them,  slaves  of  fashion,  who  know  little  and  care  less  about 
music.  Chut !  here  is  the  first  harvest-fly  about  to  open  the  concert 
with  her  celebrated  song.' 

"The  singer,  decked  in  resplendent  wings,  sang  something  thor- 
oughly dramatic.  Her  notes,  sometimes  loud,  sometimes  low,  deep, 
high,  long,  short,  were  hurled  into  the  hall  in  a  manner  so  utterly 
perplexing  that  I  whispered  to  my  friend,  '  Do  you  think  she  is  all 
right  ] ' 

"  '  Eight  1 '  he  replied.  '  My  uninitiated  friend,  you  are  listening 
to  a  prima  donna,  the  finest  soprano  on  the  stage.  The  rendering 
of  the  cantata  is  sublime.  Mark  the  modulations  of  the  voice,  the 
syncopation  of  the  passages,  the — so  to  speak — rhythmical  delivery,  the 
volume  of  sound  filling  every  corner  of  the  room,  the ' 

" e  But  after  all,'  said  I,  interrupting  him,  '  as  a  mere  display  of 
the  variety  of  sounds  contained  in  the  voice,  the  performance  is  per- 
haps very  fine,  yet  I  would  rather  listen  to  the  heart-song  of  a  linnet 
than  all  the  throat-melodies  of  the  world.' 

" '  Believe  me,  you  must  be  mistaken,'  said  the  Bug.  '  She  is  a 
universal  favourite;  and,  moreover,  anything  so  popular  must  be  in 
itself  good.' 

"  The  fly  was  followed  by  a  band  of  a  hundred  cathedral  crickets 
who  intoned  a  chorus.  They  seemed  to  be  so  nervously  affected  each 
one  about  his  notes  that  the  fall  of  the  curtain  afforded  me  great 
relief. 


THE  SUFFERINGS  OF  A  BEETLE.  113 


"  The  interval  was  filled  by  the  evolutions  of  a  grasshopper  ballet 
corps,  who  exercised  their  feet  and  legs  quite  as  much  as  the  others  had 
their  lungs.  It  seems — so  my  companion  says — they  express  in  their 
gestures  and  steps  many  of  the  most  subtle  feelings  of  the  heart.  As 
for  myself,  I  failed  to  perceive  anything  beyond  the  rather  indecent 
gambols  of  a  band  of  immodestly-dressed  female  grasshoppers.  The 
display,  although  utterly  devoid  of  the  refinement  which  each  male 
member  of  the  assembly  claimed  as  his  special  attribute,  seemed  to 
afford  unmixed  delight.  To  tell  the  truth,  I  myself  was  beginning 
to  take  some  interest  in  the  spectacle,  when  the  whole  band  disap- 
peared, and  the  din  of  instruments  began  louder  than  ever.  Oh  my 
poor  head  !  how  it  ached  !  I  was  compelled  to  seek  the  fresh  air. 

"  '  Is  this  what  you  promised  me  ? '  I  said  to  the  May-bug.  '  I 
asked  for  songs,  and  in  place  of  them  you  have  taken  me  to  listen  to 
a  troop  of  liberated  fiends,  who  play  all  manner  of  tricks  with  divine 
harmony !  Take  me,  I  pray  you,  where  one  may  listen  to  music 
unaccompanied  by  swords,  torches,  and  operatic  tinsel.' 

"  '  Come,  then,'  said  my  friend,  '  we  will  go  to  a  place  where  music 
is  heard  in  all  its  purity.  There  you  will  be  enchanted  by  the  rich 
voice  of  a  trumpeter  beetle  of  world-wide  fame.' 

"  We  winged  our  way  to  a  fine  red  tulip  that  marked  the  entrance  of 
the  hall.  As  soon  as  we  had  seated  ourselves,  the  trumpeter  appeared 
and  sang  the  finest  air  in  a  masterpiece.  This  time  I  was  delighted  ;  his 
rich  deep  voice  reminded  one  of  the  boom  of  distant  thunder,  the  roll  of 
the  sea,  or  the  noise  of  a  steam-power  mill.  The  song  was  short,  and 
followed  by  the  croaking  chorus  of  miserable  crickets.  The  contrast 
was  so  marked  as  to  be  revolting.  Here  my  friend  explained  that 
each  musical  star  is  always  attended  by  a  constellation  of  minor 
luminaries,  whose  feeble  light  is  borrowed  from  the  centre  round  which 
they  revolve.  Theatrical  managers  profit  by  their  study  of  natural 
phenomena.  They  say,  'As  there  is  only  one  sun  in  heaven  gladdening 
the  earth,  so  in  the  theatre  we  should  have  one  star  at  a  time,  so 
managed  as  to  make  the  most  of  its  refulgence.'  Two  stars  cannot  be 
allowed  to  cross  each  other's  track  on  the  stage.  Such  an  irregularity 
would  result  in  the  total  eclipse  of  the  one,  and  in  theatrical  chaos. 

"  '  Come,  let  us  go  elsewhere.  Like  a  boy  with  sweets,  I  have  kept 
the  best  to  the  last.  You  must  tighten  the  drum  of  your  ear,  adjust 
your  sense  of  hearing  to  its  finest  pitch,  in  order  to  appreciate  the  deli- 
cate strains  that  should  touch  your  heart.' 

II 


114  PUBLIC  AND  PRIVATE  LIFE  OF  ANIMALS. 


THE  SUFFERINGS  OF  A  BEETLE.  115 

"  '  I  hope,'  I  replied,  '  to  tune  my  tympanum  so  as  to  gather  up  the 
finest  chords.' 

"  '  I  am  by  no  means  certain  about  that/  said  my  Mentor.  '  Even  I 
myself,  who  am  thoroughly  initiated,  lose  some  of  the  finest  phrases. 
•One  must  know  by  a  sort  of  intuition  how  to  discover  the  sentiments 
-of  the  composer,  just  as  a  gourmet  selects  the  carp's  tongue,  while  a 
vulgar  person  polishes  the  bones.  Wherein  do  you  think  consists  the 
•charm  of  instrumental  music  ? ' 

"  *  In  the  selection  of  a  choice  melody,'  I  replied,  '  and  the  happy 
association  of  such  harmony  as  shall  lend  it  force  and  beauty ;  just  as 
in  a  picture  the  true  artist  so  marshals  his  lights  and  colours  as  to 
give  power  of  expression  to  his  composition.' 

"  '  You  are  quite  wrong,'  said  he ;  '  such  notions  are  at  least  a 
-century  old.  Nowadays  the  charm  of  music  consists  in  the  agility  of 
the  performer's  hands,  in  the  shaggy  vegetable-looking  growth  of  the 
insect  who  manipulates  the  sonorous  tool.  It  is  undeniable  that  the 
harmony  and  sweetness  of  instrumental  music  lies  in  the  nervous  appear- 
.ance  of  the  animal  who  wakes  the  articulation  of  his  instrument,  in  the 
•colour  of  his  skin,  roll  of  his  eyes,  and  the  curious  manner  in  which  he 
curves  his  spine  round  the  violoncello.  We  are  about  to  listen  to 
one  of  those  profound  artists  who  give  a  mystic,  and  at  the  same 
time  lucid,  rendering  of  the  vague  harmony  that  breathes  in  the 
moods  and  passions  of  life.'  , 

"  '  Oh,  bother  ! '  I  said,  '  such  fine  affairs  will  be  far  beyond  my  dull 
comprehension.  No  matter,  lead  on,  my  curiosity  exceeds  my  dis- 
cretion.' 

"  May-bug  introduced  me  into  the  open  calyx  of  a  Datura  fastuosa, 
richly  decorated  for  an  instrumental  concert,  to  which  one  could  only 
gain  admittance  by  paying  a  very  high  price.  The  assembly  was  even 
more  brilliant  than  that  of  the  Academy.  A  number  of  insects  were 
ranged  round  an  instrument  with  a  very  long  tail,  from  which 
were  to  be  drawn  prodigies  of  harmony  by  the  feet  of  a  famous 
centipede. 

"After  waiting  two  hours  the  artists  at  last  arrived;  the  Centipede 
seated  himself  before  his  instrument,  and  looking  calmly  round  at  all 
present,  a  profound  silence  was  at  once  established.  The  piece  opened 
with  a  succession  of  thunder  peals  rolling  on  from  the  lowest  to  the 
highest  notes  on  the  board.  The  performer  then  addressed  himself, 
though  I  thought  regretfully,  to  some  of  the  medium  keys,  after  which 


ii6  PUBLIC  AND  PRIVATE  LIFE  OF  ANIMALS. 

commenced  a  vague  slow  adagio  of  an  undistingnishable  measure,  ren- 
dered still  more  confusing  by  graces  of  manipulation.  The  air  was  poorr 
but  what  matters  the  poorness  of  the  stuff  when  it  is  so  covered  with 
embroidering  as  to  become  invisible  ?  This  was  only  a  prelude  to  give 
a  foretaste  of  the  piece.  As  there  were  many  thunderings  and  prelimi- 
nary canterings  over  the  keys — reminding  one  of  a  horse  getting  into- 
form  for  a  great  leap — I  fancied  that  something  grand  would  follow ; 
yet  it  was  quite  the  contrary.  The  dark  foreboding  cloud  of  the  intro- 
duction cleared  away,  and  was  succeeded  by  a  popular  ballet-tune,  a 
brisk  lively  air,  which  seemed  to  dance  gaily  over  the  green  turf. 

"  This  spurious  air,  which  had  sprung  up  like  a  jack-in-the-box,, 
had  been  danced  to  for  at  least  ten  years ;  one  had  had  enough  of  it 
in  every  possible  form,  but  the  audience  seemed  to  recognise  in  the 
air  a  delightful  old  friend. 

"  At  the  close  of  this  inspired  theme  and  its  endless  chain  of  varieties 
the  performer  played  the  tune  with  one  foot  on  the  base  keys,  while 
the  remaining  ninety-nine  feet  were  producing  a  furious  running  accom- 
paniment on  the  treble,  ascending  and  descending  in  interminable  runs 
of  demi-semiquavers. 

"  These  were  repeated  over  and  over  to  the  infinitely  growing  delight 
of  the  assembly.  All  at  once  the  clamour  ceased  and  the  virtuoso 
counted  time  with  the  treble,  like  the  slow  tolling  of  the  bell  of  doom 
that  seemed  to  say,  '  Tremble  !  tremble  !  thy  death  is  at  hand  ! '  The 
artist-executioner  then  seized  the  doomed  air  as  a  Turk  would  a  Chris- 
tian, tore  off  its  limbs  one  by  one,  cut  up  its  simple  face,  twisted  its 
fingers,  and  dashed  its  common  metre  into  the  splinters  of  six-eight 
time.  Here,  in  a  frenzy  of  rage,  he  tossed  the  disjointed  members  on 
to  the  hot  anvil  of  his  key-board  and  pounded  them  into  dust,  blind- 
ing and  stifling  one's  senses. 

"  The  Centipede  continued  to  hammer  louder  and  louder,  faster  and 
faster,  keeping  the  dust  of  the  pulverised  air  floating  in  a  tempest 
around,  and  his  audience  in  a  tumult  of  excitement.  The  measure 
was  left  to  look  out  for  itself  amid  the  din  and  confusion.  The  insects, 
seized  with  the  contagion  of  the  musical  slaughter,  kept  time  with  the 
fluctuating  measure  until  their  bodies  shook  as  if  with  palsy. 

"  Composedly  retiring  within  myself,  I  escaped  the  excitement, 
while  the  piece  concluded  with  prolonged  banging  of  chords,  by  which 
one  discovered  the  true  genius  of  the  Centipede. 

"  'Oh,  the  power  of  music  !'  said  a  moth  to  her  neighbour.     'My 


THE  SUFFERINGS  OF  A  BEETLE.  117 

soul  has  been  wafted  to  the  luminous  spheres  of  the  firmament, 
ah  me  ! '  and  she  fainted  away.  Another  exclaimed,  *  How  wonderful ! 
In  these  few  minutes  I  have  climbed  to  the  last  rung  of  the  ladder  of 
passion,  love,  jealousy,  despair,  fury — I  have  experienced  all  these  in 
the  twinkling  of  an  eye.  For  pity's  sake,  some  air — open  a  window  ! ' 
4  Oh  ! '  cried  a  third,  '  I  have  become  the  slave  of  harmony.  Why  can 
it  not  leave  my  imagination  to  slumber  in  peace  1  I  have  seen  white 
ants  devouring  their  young ;  bees  stinging  each  other ;  mosquitoes 
drawing  blood  from  stones  ;  centipedes  committing  suicide  ;  charming 
butterflies  metamorphosed  into  death's-head  moths.' 

"  '  Alas  ! '  said  an  old  Cantharis,  '  what  delight,  what  bliss  to  possess 
.such  genius  !  This  centipede  is  truly  wonderful !  wonderful ! ! ' 

"I  turned  towards  a  large  gadfly  who  appeared  to  have  some 
-common  sense,  and  inquired  timidly  if  it  were  not  my  ignorance  which 
rendered  me  unable  to  appreciate  the  marvels  which  are  being 
applauded. 

"  '  Imprudent  fellow !'  replied  he,  drawing  me  into  a  corner.  '  If  you 
were  heard  letting  fall  such  remarks  you  would  be  torn  to  pieces  by 
the  Cantharis.  You  had  better  go  with  the  herd ;  say  it's  no  end  of 
.soul-stirring,  you  know,  and  all  that  kind  of  thing.  It  is  fashion,  my 
boy.  The  Centipede  is  all  the  rage.' 

"  '  Thanks  for  your  warning,  but  is  one  compelled  to  come  and  listen 
to  these  torments  of  h-harmony  T 

"  *  Xo,  not  exactly  compelled,  and  yet  we  cannot  escape  it.  It's 
supposed  to  be  the  correct  thing  to  do.' 

"  The  emotion  had  now  subsided,  and  we  had  to  listen  to  a 
distinguished  earwig  violinist,  who  followed  so  closely  in  the 
.strain  of  his  predecessor  that  I  will  dismiss  him  without  further 
•comment. 

"Before  leaving  the  hall  I  was  introduced  to  the  Centipede,  and 
congratulated  him  on  his  power  over  his  instrument.  The  fellow 
turned  away  indignantly,  saying,  'You  take  me,  then,  for  a  sort  of 
musical  machine.  A  day  is  coining  in  which  I  shall  prove  to  the 
universe  that  my  own  compositions  are  alone  worthy  of  my  genius  as 
a  performer.  Good-evening,  Mr.  Beetle.'  A  slight  touch  of  vanity 
this,  but  the  faintest  trace  of  it !  Ugh  ! 

"  The  May-bug  approached  me  with  a  triumphant  air,  '  I  told  you 
we  should  have  a  splendid  evening.' 


u8  PUBLIC  AND  PRIVATE  LIFE  OF  ANIMALS. 

" '  So  very  splendid/  I  replied,  '  I  should  like  at  once  to  sleep  off  its 
effect.' 

"  Next  day  my  guide  led  me  to  understand  that  it  was  expedient  to 
go  and  visit  some  death's-head  moths  who  view  nature  from  their 
own  ideal  standpoint  and  endeavour  to  imitate  its  forms  and  colours. 

"The  majority  of  these  unfortunates  had  nothing  more  left  than 
mere  stumps  of  their  once  ample  wings ;  they  had  lost  them  in 
ambitious  flight  while  yet  too  young.  The  first  moth  we  \isited  spoke 
very  highly  of  his  craft. 

" '  Nothing  good  can  ever  be  achieved/  he  said,  '  without  art,  and 
there  is  no  art  without  its  rules.  The  precepts  of  the  masters  must  be- 
followed.  No  composition  can  possibly  be  worth  the  canvas  on  which. 
it  is  painted  unless  it  will  bear  the  tests  of  law.  To  produce  a  good 
picture,  it  is  necessary  to  select  from  nature's  storehouse  ;  but  to  select 
only  such  elements  as  are  pleasing  to  the  eye  and  taste,  and  to  reject 
all  that  are  offensive.  I  have  striven  to  carry  out  and  embody  all  the 
rules  of  art  in  the  composition  I  am  about  to  show  you.' 

"  The  Moth  then  unveiled  a  large  canvas,  representing  a  battle  of 
the  animalcules,  seen  by  the  microscope  in  a  drop  of  water.  He  could 
not  have  hit  upon  a  happier  subject  to  display  not  alone  his  knowledge 
of  art,  but  of  the  fierce  passions  which  characterise  even  the  lowest 
living  organisms.  The  distinct  genera  and  species  were  treated  with 
masterly  skill.  The  complicities  of  structure  in  the  Rotifera  lent 
force  and  dignity  to  the  action ;  while  the  breadth  of  expression  in 
some  of  the  mouths,  the  dangerous  attitude  of  the  heads,  the  curves  of 
the  tails  and  antennae,  all  contributed  to  render  this  one  of  the  most 
striking  productions  of  modern  art. 

"In  the  next  studio  we  visited,  the  Moth  had  met  with  an  accident; 
he  had  singed  his  wings  by  venturing  too  near  his  light  (candle-light). 
For  all  that,  we  found  him  a  most  enthusiastic  limner,  who  discoursed 
like  a  lunatic  on  the  subtle  fire  of  genius.  His  speciality  was  portrait- 
painting,  about  which  he  had  his  own  notions. 

"  '  It  is  necessary/  he  said,  'in  order  to  idealise  the  subject,  to  care- 
fully study  the  habits  of  plant  life,  and  impart  something  of  its  grace 
and  tenderness  to  the  outlines  of  the  insect  who  is  sitting  for  a 
portrait.  It  is  wonderful  to  observe  the  effect  produced  by  peculiar- 
habits  of  life,  and  most  necessary  for  the  artist  to  note  their  influences 
in  the  treatment  of  a  subject.  One  requires  to  make  one's  self  master 
of  the  life  and  thoughts  of  the  sitter,  so  as  to  give  a  poetic  rendering 


THE  SUFFERINGS  OF  A  BEETLE. 


119 


to  his  idiosyncrasy.  Thus  the  low-life  vulgar  habits  of  a  patron 
which  impress  their  stamp  on  his  physiognomy  must  be  studiously 
concealed  beneath  a  virtuous  mask  of  paint  and  outline.  In  this  way 


we  depict  what  the  insect  under  happier  influences  might  have  been, 
in  place  of  what  he  really  is.' 

"  'In  other  words,'  I  said,   'you  portray  your  client  as  the  insect 


120  PUBLIC  AND  PRIVATE  LIFE  OF  ANIMALS. 

God  made  him  before  he  himself  wrecked  the  fair  image  by  giving 
himself  up  to  the  works  of  the  devil.  In  this  way  I  suppose  you 
serve  God  and  Mammon  at  the  same  time.  After  all,  truth  is  truth, 
whether  on  canvas  or  in  conversation,  and  it  seems  to  me  that  you 
prostitute  your  sublime  art  by  handing  down  painted  lies  to  posterity.' 
We  had  to  leave  this  studio,  as  the  new  light  I  had  thrown  on  this 
moth's  studies  singed  his  wings  afresh. 

"  My  Mentor  next  led  me  to  a  brilliant  group  of  the  Coccus  cacti, 
or  cochineal  insects,  from  the  forests  of  the  '  Far  East/  who  were 
awkwardly  colouring  dead  leaves. 

"  '  Strangers/  said  one  of  them,  '  there  has  been  only  one  great  epoch 
for  the  fine  arts.' 

"I  was  about  to  suggest  that  there  had  been  four  great  epochs, 
and  to  concede  that  one  of  the  four  had  perhaps  been  the  greatest  of 
all. 

"  '  The  ancients  ! ' 

"  '  That  will  do/  said  one  of  the  painters.  '  The  ancients  were  chil- 
dren, chrysalides  groping  in  darkness.' 

"  '  Perhaps  you  deem  the  Augustine  epoch  the  greatest  ? ' 

"  '  The  age  of  Augustus  !  What  of  that  ?  We  know  nothing  about 
it.' 

"  '  Perhaps,  then,  the  period  of  the  Renaissance? ' 

"  '  The  Renaissance  !     A  period  of  beggarly  decadence  ! ' 

"  '  Ah,  then,  to  revive  signifies  to  decline.' 

"  '  Decidedly ;  so  far  as  the  Renaissance  goes.' 

"  '  The  only  period  remaining  is  the  seventeenth  century.'  My  voice 
was  here  stifled  by  groans. 

"  '  Who  is  this  Coleopterous  1  Have  you  lived  in  a  hole  1  Learn, 
Sir  Beetle,  that  which  is  known  and  sanctioned  now-a-days  we  utterly 
condemn  and  ignore,  while  all  that  is  obscure,  lost  in  the  dust  of 
oblivion,  we  bring  to  light  and  restore  with  the  varnish  of  our 
enthusiasm.  Depend  upon  it,  there  has  never  been  but  one  really 
grand  epoch,  which  lasted  twenty  years  and  three  months.  This  was 
in  the  twelfth  century,  during  the  time  of  Averroes.  The  Saracens 
brought  art  to  the  highest  pitch  of  perfection.' 

"  '  Let  us  leave  these  driveling  fools/  I  whispered  to  my  companion. 

"  <  Willingly.' 

"  Our  next  flight  was  across  the  garden  to  a  spot  I  had  never  seen 
before.  Its  name  was  taken  from  an  ancient  causeway  on  which  it  had 


THE  SUFFERINGS  OF  A  BEETLE.  121 

been  erected.     We  entered  a  rich  tulip  where  a  number  of  insects 
were  assembled. 

"'Here  you  see,'  said  my  companion, 'the  whole  entomological 
race — peacock-butterflies,  admirals,  generals,  princes,  counts,  satyrs, 
even  Vulcan  and  Argus.'  You  are  aware  the  beetles  are  descended  from 
an  Egyptian  race  of  insects  accustomed  to  translate  hieroglyphics  of  the 
physiognomy,  and  thus  read  the  secrets  of  the  heart. 

"  I  therefore  understood  at  a  glance  that  all  the  females  of  this  vast 
assembly  were  ranged  in  a  ring  for  no  better  purpose  than  criticising  each 
other's  appearance  and  dress.  They  were  indeed,  without  a  single  excep- 
tion, secretly  employed  in  picking  each  other's  robes,  jewels,  and  looks  to 
pieces.  The  males  stood  at  some  distance.  I  remarked  to  my  friend 
that  this  chosen  society  appeared  to  me  dull  and  miserable.  Not  wish- 
ing to  judge  hastily,  I  determined  to  listen  to  the  conversation. 

"  A  group  of  sporting  spiders  were  wholly  engrossed  with  talk  about 
hunting,  dining,  and  betting,  and  how  their  blandishments  had  done 
for  some  gay  thoughtless  flies  who  had  been  decoyed  into  their 
chambers  in  pursuit  of  pleasure,  and  rewarded  with  death.  Two 
fine  females  were  whispering  behind  their  fans.  I  slipped  quietly  up 
to  them  to  listen.  Imagine  my  surprise  when  I  heard  them  using 
the  slang  of  the  lowest  vermin  living. 

"  Their  chief  theme  was  the  best  means  of  draining  their  husbands' 
purses  to  enable  them  to  pursue  their  selfish  pleasure,  while  I  found  out 
that  their  devoted  partners  were  nearly  driven  to  despair  to  make 
ends  meet.  My  horns  stood  up  on  my  head  with  horror.  Addressing 
my  companion,  I  said,  *  Is  this  what  you  call  the  pleasures  of  the  world  ? 
In  the  modest  field  where  I  was  born,  it  was  not  so.  When  a  simple 
insect  puts  on  her  best- dress,  she  wears  her  sweetest  smiles  all  for 
her  fond  husband.' 

"  '  "Well/  said  my  Mentor,  'what  can  one  do  ?  Fashion  is  king  here, 
and  he  is  a  hard  task-master.  All  these  are  his  slaves  in  every  detail 
of  life,  dress,  and  language.' 

"'But,'  I  said,  'if  one  thinks  only  of  personal  adornment,  putting 
on  one's  back  all  one's  worldly  possessions,  how  fares  the  household  1 ' 

"  '  The  household !'  replied  he ;  '  who  ever  thinks  of  that?  Domestic 
bliss  belonged  to  our  grandmothers.' 

" '  And  the  budget  ?  those  two  famous  ends  of  the  year  which  it  is 
so  important  to  join  together  decently.' 

"  '  That  does  not  matter  either  to  you  or  to  me.' 


122  PUBLIC  AND  PRIVATE  LIFE  OF  ANIMALS. 

11  Two  rather  unsightly  insects  were  putting  their  heads  together  in 
a  corner.  '  Who  are  those  two  creatures  1 '  I  inquired. 

"'They  are  ant-lions  of  finance.  Their  habits  are  droll.  They 
meet  together  in  the  morning  in  a  temple  consecrated  to  their 
operations.  There  they  plan  how  best  they  may  undermine  the  finest 
structures  of  their  neighbours.  Their  form  of  worship  is  perhaps  the 
most  dangerous  in  the  world,  as  they  sacrifice  many  victims,  simple 
and  innocent  ones.  When  one  of  these  ant-lions  has  done  a  good  day's 
work,  sucked  the  life's  blood  from  some  widow  or  orphan,  he  is  the 
pleasantest  evening  companion  imaginable.  That  bejewelled  female 
with  the  dirty  diamond-ringed  neck  and  fingers  is  one  of  their  wives.' 

"  I  soon  left  the  husbands  to  talk  over  their  pitfalls,  and  listened  to 
the  gossip  of  their  wives. 

"  'My  dear  friend,'  said  one  of  them,  '  you  have  a  musical  cousin 
always  about  you  of  whom  we  may  talk  undisturbed/ 

" '  Bah  !  we  do  not  get  on ;  he  grumbles  so  if  I  eat  sweets  while 
rendering  sonatas  or  qmtuors  of  Haydn  or  Mozart.' 

"  The  sad  counsels  of  the  old  Rhinoceros  came  to  my  mind,  and  I 
began  to  understand  that  he  had  been  at  least  truthful.  My  reflections 
were  here  interrupted  by  an  altercation  between  two  insects.  The 
questions  discussed  were  taken  up  by  all  the  others.  I  afterwards  learned 
the  nature  of  the  questions,  and  the  decisions  were  the  following  : — 

"  1st,  Green  tea  is  more  destructive  to  the  nerves  than  black  tea. 

"  2d,  Self-love  is  the  motive  of  all  action  in  insects. 

"  3d,  The  hill  of  St.  Denis  is  about  as  steep  as  that  of  Clichy. 

"  4th,  It  is  cheaper  to  live  in  France  than  in  England. 

"  5th,  It  is  better  to  be  rich  than  poor. 

"  6th,  Friendship  is  a  sentiment  weaker  than  love. 

"  This  last  question  was  given  up  as  insoluble  at  the  request  of  the 
ephemera  present.  An  Alpine  hermit  made  a  note  of  it,  so  as  to  be  able 
to  meditate  on  the  subject  at  leisure  in  the  solitude  of  his  cell.  I  then, 
taking  my  friend  by  the  arm,  inquired,  '  Is  there  no  spot  in  this  large 
garden  where  one  could  find  an  insect  that  would  converse  without 
pretending  to  be  interesting  ? ' 

"  '  Yes,'  he  replied,  scratching  his  pate  with  an  air  of  embarrassment; 
'  follow  me.' 

"  We  flew  away  into  the  dark  night,  but  my  guide  made  so 
many  circuits  that  I  perceived  he  was  quite  at  a  loss  where  to  go. 


THE  SUFFERINGS  OF  A  BEETLE.  123 

" '  I  do  not  think/  he  said,  '  it  would  be  worth  while  to  take  you 
into  that  vast  swamp  where  one  lives  in  isolation  like  a  water-rat. 
Let  us  cross  the  river.  On  its  bank  yonder  are  lilies  to  whom  I  might 
introduce  you.  They  live  in  peace  and  silence,  fearing  to  defile  them- 
selves by  unkind  sentiments.' 

"  *  Is  there  any  gaiety  there '? ' 

"'In  the  land  of  lilies  one  is  sadder  than  elsewhere,  but  the  reason 
of  that  is  too  long  to  enter  upon  here.' 

"  Tired  of  these  flights,  I  profited  by  the  darkness  to  leave  my 
companion.  A  bright  star,  as  if  by  chance,  directed  me  to  the  third 
floor  of  a  climbing  rose,  and  there  at  last  I  found  the  object  of  my 
search,  a  good  honest  family  of  lady-birds  established  in  a  simple  and 
commodious  dwelling.  Most  amiable  creatures,  living  without  show  or 
ostentation.  Our  conversation  was  animated  by  a  genial  gaiety,  and 
we  sat  down  to  a  simple  supper.  My  place  was  between  two  hostesses 
who  proved  most  agreeable  companions." 

Here  the  Beetle  relapsed  into  silence. 

"  Mr.  Beetle,"  said  the  Owl,  "  I  feel  certain  your  history  does  not 
end  here." 

"  That  is  true,  Mr.  Philosopher,"  said  the  insect ;  "  I  had  reserved  a 
portion.  From  the  happy  moment  that  separated  me  from  my  Mentor 
I  have  only  once  felt  pain.  A  certain  day,  at  a  certain  hour,  I  was 
summoned  to  put  on  my  military  dress  and  mount  guard  at  a  place 
pointed  out  to  me.  I  had  to  obey  under  pain  of  death,  in  common 
with  many  other  insects  of  peace,  who  were  compelled  to  imitate 
wasps  and  hornets  in  order  to  secure  the  safety  of  the  country,  which 
was  in  no  real  danger.  After  a  day  and  a  night  of  this  warlike 
parade,  I  again  obtained  my  liberty.  I  had  caught  cold  and  tooth- 
ache, but  seeing  a  poppy  on  my  way,  I  plunged  into  it  and  swallowed 
some  opium,  which  brought  on  profound  sleep.  At  last  I  was  roused 
by  the  voice  of  a  magpie,  who  had  seized  me  round  the  waist  with 
his  iron  beak.  He  was  an  old  collector,  and,  more  than  that,  a 
sorcerer.  '  Here,'  said  my  captor,  '  I  have  found  a  pretty  beetle, 
which  I  shall  place  in  the  middle  of  a  peony  leaf,  and  give  to  my  god- 
child as  a  jewel  and  talisman  to  protect  her  against  the  sway  of 
fashion.' 

"  I  permitted  myself  to  be  placed  on  the  leaf  and  attached  to  the 
dove  Violet's  neck,  where  I  have  determined  to  remain,  as  the  situa- 
tion suits  me,  and  I  hope  to  make  her  lucky." 


124 


PUBLIC  AND  PRIVATE  LIFE  OF  ANIMALS. 


"  Sir,"  said  the  Owl,  "  it  seems  to  me  that  you  are  studiously  con- 
cealing the  most  interesting  part  of  your  narrative.  A  beetle  of 
your  wide  experience  cannot  have  passed  through  the  world  without 


some  love  adventures.     I  strongly  suspect  you  fell  in  love  with  your 
lady-bird  hostess.     Pray  allay  my  curiosity." 


THE  SUFFERINGS  OF  A  BEETLE. 


125 


The  little  green  Beetle  hereupon  bestowed  one  searching  look  upon 
the  Ow),  and  drawing  in  his  legs  and  horns,  lapsed  into  silence, 
simulating  death  so  cleverly  that  his  interrogator  became  alarmed. 
The  Owl  put  on  his  spectacles  to  examine  the  insect  more  closely.  He 
then  saw  for  the  first  time  that  it  was  an  emerald  mounted  on  an 
enamelled  leaf.  The  sun  beginning  to  appear,  he  became  drowsy, 
and  pulling  his  hood  over  his  eyes,  fell  into  a  profound  sleep. 

Awaking  at  last,  he  discovered  that  the  story  of  the  green  Beetle 
was  but  a  dream,  and  returning  the  pin  to  .Violet,  he  recounted  the 
history  of  the  transformed  jewel  as  if  it  had  been  his  own  invention. 


A  Fox  IN  A  TRAP. 


HE  following  story  was  found  among  the 
papers  of  a  distinguished  "  Orang-Outan " 
member  of  the  Academies  : — 

"  No,  decidedly  not ! "  I  cried  ;  "  it  shall 
never  be  said  that  I  chose  for  the  hero  of 
my  tale  a  cowardly,  sneaking,  voracious 
brute,  whose  name  has  become  synonymous 
with  cunning,  hypocrisy,  and  knavery — a 
fox,  in  fact." 

"  You  are  wrong,"  replied  one  whose  presence  I  had  overlooked. 

I  must  tell  you  that  my  lonely  hours  had  been  beguiled  by  a 
creature  of  a  species  hitherto  undescribed  by  the  naturalist,  who  per- 
formed slight  services,  and  was  at  that  moment  engaged  in  arranging 
the  books  in  my  library.  The  reader  will  no  doubt  be  surprised  to 
learn  that  an  orang-outan — literally,  man  of  the  woods  or  wilds — 
possessed  a  library.  His  astonishment  will  be  still  greater  when  he 
is  informed  that  the  chief  works  in  my  collection  were  penned  by 
philosophic  apes,  and  that  most  of  them  contain  elaborate  disquisi- 
tions on  the  descent  of  apes  from  the  human  species.  This  by  the 
way. 

Perhaps  the  dependant  who  addressed  me  would  be  called  a 
"familiar  spirit."  Although  spirits  are  not  totally  unknown,  I  am 
unacquainted  with  those  of  the  familiar  type ;  I  will  therefore,  with 
your  leave,  name  this  one  Breloque. 

"  You  are  wrong,"  he  repeated. 

"  Why  1  "  1  indignantly  inquired.  "  Will  your  love  of  paradox 
tempt  you  to  defend  the  cursed,  corrupted  race  ? " 

"  I  think,"  replied  Breloque,  leaning  on  the  table  with  an  air  of 
arrogance  most  ludicrous  to  behold,  "  that  bad  reputations,  as  well  as 


A  FOX  IN  A   TRAP. 


127 


good  ones,  are  sometimes  usurped,  and  that  the  species  in  question,  or 
at  least  one  example  with  whom  I  became  acquainted,  is  the  victim 
of  an  error  of  this  sort." 

"  So  then,"  I  said,  "you  are  speaking  from  personal  experience?  " 


"  Quite  so,  sir ;  and  were  it  not  that  I  fear  wasting  your  precious 
moments,  I  would  try  and  convince  you  of  your  error." 

"  I  am  willing  to  listen,  hut  what  will  the  result  be  1 " 

"  Nothing." 

"  That  is  satisfactory.  Sit  down  in  this  arm-chair,  and  should  I  go 
to  sleep,  do  not  stop,  I  pray  you,  as  that  would  awake  me." 

After  taking  a  pinch  of  snuff  from  my  box,  Breloque,  nothing  loath, 
commenced  thus  : — 

"  You  are  fully  aware,  sir,  that  notwithstanding  the  affection  which 
attaches  me  to  your  person,  I  have  never  submitted  to  the  slavery 
that  would  have  been  distasteful  to  both.  I  have  my  leisure  hours, 
when  I  think  of  many  things ;  just  as  you  have  yours,  when  you  think 
of  nothing.  Oh,  I  have  many  ways  of  passing  my  time.  Have  you 
ever  been  out  fishing  with  the  line  ? " 

"  Yes,"  I  replied ;  "  that  is  to  sa}r,  I  often  used  to  go  in  a  costume 
expressly  suited  to4  fishing,  and  sit  from  sunrise  to  sunset  on  the 
borders  of  a  stream.  I  had  a  superb  rod  mounted  with  silver,  like 
an  Oriental  weapon,  but  without  its  danger.  Alas !  I  have  passed 


128 


PUBLIC  AND  PRIVATE  LIFE  OF  ANIMALS. 


many  sweet  hours,  and  made  many  bad  verses,  but  I  never  caught  a 
single  fish." 

"Angling,  sir,  appeals  to  the  imagination  in  your  case,  and  has 
nothing  to  do  with  the  happiness  of  the  true  angler.  Few  persons 
are  so  framed  as  to  appreciate  the  charms  of  which  you  speak.  Your 
mind,  filled  with  dreamy,  vague  hope,  follows  the  soft  motion  of  the 
transparent  water,  marks  and  profits  by  the  events  of  the  insect  world 


that  clouds  its  clear  face.  To  the  fisher  of  poetic  mind  the  capture 
of  one  of  the  silver  dwellers  in  the  stream  can  only  bring  regret, 
remorse." 

I  made  a  sign  of  assent. 

"  Yet,"  he  continued,  "few  persons  regard  the  sport  in  this  light." 

"  That  is  true/'  I  replied. 

Breloque,  unaccustomed  to  find  one  entering  so  fully  into  his  views, 
felt  flattered. 

"  Sir,"  he  said  in  a  tone  marked  by  perfect  self-satisfaction,  "  I  have 
thought  deeply  on  subjects  most  profound,  and  I  feel  convinced,  if  the 
world  would  only  give  me  a  fair  hearing,  I  could  earn  a  wide  reputa- 
tion— nor  would  it  be  a  borrowed  one." 


A  FOX  IN  A   TRAP. 


129 


"Apropos  of  borrowed  fame,'  let  us  hear  the  history  of  your  fox. 
You  abuse  the  privilege  granted  by  thus  trifling  with  my  patience." 

"  Ah,  sir,  you  misjudge  me.  This  is  only  a  subtle,  roundabout  way 
of  leading  your  mind  up  to  the  theme.  I  am  now  all  for  you,  and 
will  only  permit  myself  to  put  one  question — What  do  you  think  of 
butterfly-catching  ? " 

"  Wretch  !  "  I  exclaimed,  "  am  I  here  to  discuss  the  fortunes  of  all 


created  things  before  the  one  which  occupies  me?  You  forget  the 
hatred  that  fills  my  breast,  the  mask  of  hypocrisy  which  the  fox 
craftily  assumes  to  attract  tender  chickens,  lambs,  doves,  and  his 
thousand  victims." 

"What  calumnies!"  replied  Breloque.  "I  hope  to  avenge  the  fox 
of  all  his  enemies  by  proving  that  in  love  he  is  stupid,  unselfish,  and 
tender-hearted.  For  the  moment  I  have  the  honour  of  returning  to 
the  butterfly-hunt." 

I  made  an  impatient  gesture,  to  which  he  replied  with  such  a 
look  of  supplication  that  I  was  completely  disarmed.  Besides,  I  had 
the  imprudence  to  let  him  see  that  the  exciting  pastime  interested 
me. 

I 


130  PUBLIC  AND  PRIVATE  LIFE  OF  ANIMALS. 


Breloque  satisfied,  took  a  second  pinch  of  snuff,  and  half  lay  down 
in  his  arm-chair. 

"  I  am  happy,  sir,"  he  said,  "  to  see  you  take  delight  in  the  truly 
worthy  pleasures  of  life.  Can  you  point  out  a  being  more  to  be 
envied  or  recommended  to  the  consideration  of  his  fellow-creatures 
than  the  one  we  encounter  early  in  the  morning,  joyous  and  breathless, 
beating  the  long  grass  with  his  stick  ?  In  his  button-hole  hung  a  bit 
of  cork  armed  with  long  pins  used  to  spike — without  pain — his  lovely 
victims.  He  soothes  himself  with  the  notion  that  these  little  insects, 
brought  by  the  zephyrs,  cannot  suffer  pain,  as  they  never  utter  a 
complaint.  For  my  part,  I  think  the  butterflies  rather  enjoy  the 
prospect  of  being  dried  like  mummies,  and  displayed  in  choice  collec- 
tions. But  we  are  off  the  line  of  our  subject." 

"  You  are  right  for  once,"  I  said. 

"  I  shall  return  to  it.  As  speaking  in  general  terms  pains  you,  I  will 
talk  of  my  own  experiences  in  the  field.  One  day,  when  carried  away 
by  the  ardour  of  the  hunt.  It  is  altogether  different  from  fishing,  of 
which  we  were  just  talking." 

I  rose  to  go,  but  he  quietly  made  me  resume  my  seat. 

"  Do  not  be  impatient.  I  only  spoke  of  fishing  as  a  comparison,  for 
you  to  note  the  difference.  Fishing  with  bait  requires  the  most  perfect 
rest,  while  the  hunt,  on  the  contrary,  demands  activity." 

"You  have  fairly  caught  me  and  pinned  me  down,"  I  replied, 
laughing. 

"  That  is  a  cruel  remark ;  but  I  shall  now  be  careful  to  stick  to  my 
narrative.  You  are  as  capricious  as  the  gay  butterfly  I  was  engaged 
in  pursuing.  He  was  a  marvellous  Apollon  in  the  mountains  of 
Franche  Compte'.  I  stopped  quite  out  of  breath  in  a  little  glade  into 
which  he  had  led  me,  thinking  he  would  profit  by  this  moment  to 
escape ;  but,  either  from  sheer  insolence  or  frolic,  he  alighted  on  a 
long  stem  of  grass,  which  bent  under  his  weight,  seeming  to  set  me  at 
defiance.  Collecting  all  my  energy,  I  determined  to  surprise  him.  I 
approached  with  stealthy  steps,  my  eyes  riveted  on  him,  my  legs 
strained  in  an  attitude  as  uncomfortable  as  it  was  undignified, 
my  heart  swelling  with  an  emotion  more  easily  imagined  than 
described.  At  this  moment  a  horrid  cock  crowed  lustily,  and  away 
flew  my  coveted  prize.  Inconsolable,  I  down  upon  a  stone  and 
expended  my  remaining  breath  in  heaping  invective  on  the  head  of 
my  musical  enemy,  menacing  him  with  every  kind  of  death,  and  I 


A  FOX  IN  A  TRAP.  131 


own,  to  my  horror,  even  mentioning  a  poisoned  pill.  I  was  delighting 
in  guilty  preparations  to  carry  my  threats  into  effect,  when  a  paw  was 
placed  on  my  arm,  and  I  beheld  two  soft  eyes  looking  into  mine,  those 
of  a  young  fox,  sir,  of  charming  form.  All  his  externals  were  in  his 
favour,  betokening  a  loyal  noble  character.  Although  you  yourself 
are  against  his  species,  I  somehow  contracted  a  liking  for  the  fox 
before  me.  This  modest  animal  heard  my  menaces  against  the 
•cock. 

" '  Do  not  give  way  to  passion,  sir,'  he  said  in  such  a  sad  tone  that  I 
was  movfcd  even  to  tears.  '  She  would  die  of  grief.' 

"  I  did  not  quite  understand.     '  Who  do  you  mean  1 '  I  inquired. 

"  '  Cocotte  ! '  he  replied  with  sweet  simplicity. 

"I  felt  still  in  the  dark;  yet  conjectured  it  was  some  love 
story.  I  have  always  been  passionately  fond  of  romance,  and 
you  1 " 

"  That  depends  entirely  on  circumstances." 

"  Say  at  once  you  detest  love  tales.  However,  you  must  resign 
yourself  to  hearing  this  one." 

"  I  should  name  my  objections  at  once,  were  I  not  afraid  of  wound- 
ing your  feelings,  so  I  prefer  bravely  taking  my  part  and  listening  to 
your  story ;  ennui  does  not  kill." 

"  So  it  is  said,  yet  I  have  known  people  who  have  almost  succumbed 
to  ennui.  But  to  return  to  the  fox. 

"'  Sir/  I  said,  'you  interest  me  deeply.  You  seem  unhappy.  Can 
I  serve  you  in  any  way  ? ' 

"  '  Thank  you,'  he  replied,  <  my  grief  must  remain  unalleviated.  No 
one  has  the  power  to  make  her  return  my  love.' 

"  '  Cocotte  ? '  I  said  quietly. 

"  *  Cocotte,'  he  replied,  sighing. 

"  The  greatest  service  one  can  render  a  disconsolate  lover,  next  to 
destroying  him,  is  to  listen  to  him.  He  is  happy  while  recounting 
his  troubles.  Knowing  the  truth  of  this,  I  asked  and  obtained  his 
confidence. 

"  '  Sir,'  said  this  interesting  quadruped,  '  since  you  wish  me  to  relate 
some  of  the  incidents  of  my  life,  I  must  go  back  several  years,  as  my 
misfortunes  commenced  with  my  birth.  I  owe  my  introduction  into 
life  to  one  of  the  choicest  foxes  of  the  time.  For  all  that,  I  am  happy 
to  say  I  inherit  almost  nothing  of  the  subtle  nature  of  my  parents. 
My  utter  abhorrence  of  their  ways  inspired  me  with  tastes  opposed  to 


132 


PUBLIC  AND  PRIVATE  LIFE  OF  ANIMALS. 


the   interest   of  my   family.      A   large    dog   with   whom   I    became 
acquainted  taught  me  to  befriend  the  weak  and  helpless.     Many  hours 


have  I  spent,  not  only  listening  to  his  counsel,  but  observing  how 
careful  he  was  to  put  his  virtuous  maxims  into  practice.  He  won  my 
gratitude  by  saving  my  life.  A  country  steward  caught  me  in  his 


A  FOX  IN  A   TRAP.  133 


master's  vineyard  beneath  a  vine,  where  I  had  taken,  shelter  from  the 
heat  of  the  sun,  after  quenching  my  thirst  with  a  grape.  I  was  ignomi- 
niously  arrested  and  brought  before  the  proprietor,  a  "justice  of  the 
peace,"  whose  fierce  aspect  did  not  calm  my  fears.  But  this  power- 
ful, superb  animal  proved  most  kind ;  he  forgave  me,  admitted  me  to 
his  table,  where,  in  addition  to  more  substantial  fare,  I  was  fed  on 
the  precepts  of  virtue  and  morality.  To  him  I  owe  the  sensibility  of 
my  heart,  the  culture  of  my  mind,  and  even  the  pleasure  of  being  able 
to  relate  my  experience  in  intelligible  language.  Numerous  griefs  and 
wrongs  chequered  my  existence  up  to  the  fatal  hour  when,  like 
Romeo,  I  gave  my  heart  to  a  creature  from  whom  our  family  feuds 
seemed  to  have  parted  me  for  ever.  Less  fortunate  than  Romeo,  I  was 
not  loved  in  return.' 

" '  Who,'  I  said,  '  is  the  fair  charmer  so  insensible  to  your  love  ? 
Who  is  the  lover  preferred  before  you  1 ' 

"  '  The  charming  one,'  he  replied  with  humility,  *  is  a  hen,  and  my 
rival  a  cock.' 

"I  was  confounded.  'Sir,'  at  last  I  said  to  him,  'do  not  for  an 
instant  attribute  my  remarks  to  our  newly-formed  friendship.  I 
for  one  have  always  looked  with  scorn  and  contempt  on  indi- 
viduals of  this  vain  type.  What  more  stupidly  pretentious,  what 
more  ridiculous  than  a  cock,  whose  stiff  strut  of  pride  causes  him  to 
stumble  in  his  sublimest  moods?  The  unbridled  pomp  and  vanity 
of  the  cock  renders  him  the  meanest  and  most  ridiculous  of 
"birds.' 

"•'There  are  many  hens,  sir,  who  are  not  of  your  opinion,'  said  my 
young  friend,  sighing.  '  Alas !  the  love  of  Cocotte  is  a  proof  of  the 
value  of  a  picturesque  physique  coupled  with  bold  assurance.  I  hoped 
that  my  boundless  devotion  would  one  day  be  rewarded  by  her  love. 
I  had  spiritualised  an  attachment  which  generally  displays  itself  in 
a  rather  material  fashion  when  the  fox  woos  the  hen.  But  happy  love 
knows  no  pity !  Cocotte  saw  me  suffer  without  remorse.  My  rival 
enjoyed  my  troubles,  for  in  the  game  of  insolence  and  fatuity  he  has 
no  rival.  My  friends  scorned  and  abandoned  me,  and,  to  crown  all, 
my  noble  protector  ended  his  days  in  an  honourable  retreat.  Alone 
now,  I  would  feel  wretched  but  for  the  memory  of  this  fatal  passion, 
which  has  still  its  inexplicable  charm.  I  am  bound  to  Cocotte,  and  to 
the  end  of  my  days  must  defend  her  against  my  fellows,  and  wear  the 
•chains  she  has  coiled  around  me.  I  would  die  happy  if  only  I  could 


134  PUBLIC  AND  PRIVATE  LIFE  OF  ANIMALS. 


prove  to  her  that  I  am  not  unworthy  of  her  pity  !  You  are  so  indul- 
gent, sir,  I  venture  to  think  that  the  circumstances  which  intro- 
duced me  to  Cocotte  may  not  be  indifferent  to  you.  I  first  beheld 
her  during  a  blood  conventicle  held  last  summer,  at  which  I 
unwillingly  assisted.  It  was  through  my  father's  influence  that  I  was- 
admitted.  I  was  detested  by  my  friends,  and  could  take  no  part  in 
eating  feathered  creatures  like  the  one  I  loved.  A  number  of  mjr 
relations  had  agreed  among  themselves  to  seize  a  farmyard  during  the- 
absence  of  the  master  and  dogs.  You  may  descry  the  house  not  far 
from  here.  The  most  careful  preparations,  such  as  would  make- 
your  hair  stand  on  end — (pardon  me,  I  did  not  notice  your  wig) 
— were  made  for  a  general  slaughter  of  the  dwellers  in  the  yard. 
In  spite  of  my  tender  heart  I  lent  myself  with  a  rather  good  grace  to 
aid  in  carrying  out  their  schemes.  It  may  have  been  with  some  touch 
of  pride  more  worthy  of  men  than  foxes,  I  felt  prepared  to  prove, 
dreamer  as  I  was,  that  in  the  hour  of  danger  I  could  be  trusted. 
The  plot,  the  memory  of  which  makes  me  shudder,  did  not  seem  at  all 
odious  at  the  time.  At  last,  under  cover  of  night,  we  made  a 
triumphant  entry  into  the  ill-defended  yard.  Our  victims  were 
asleep — hens  go  to  roost  early.  One  only  remained  watching — that 
was  Cocotte.  The  first  glance  of  her  fair  form  floored  me — to  make 
use  of  a  vulgar  phrase.  Here  I  was,  a  fox  in  love.  I  breathed  soft 
words  to  the  night  air;  she  listened  to  me  as  one  accustomed  to- 
homage.  I  retired  to  devise  some  means  of  saving  her.  Do  not  fail 
to  note  that  my  love  began  in  an  unselfish  thought.  This  is  so  rare 
as  to  be  worthy  of  special  remark.  When  I  approached  the  blood- 
thirsty foxes,  I  advised  them  to  begin  decently  and  in  order  by  devour- 
ing the  eggs.  My  proposal  was  adopted  by  a  large  majority.  Thus 
gaining  time  to  reflect,  I  had  decided  on  nothing  when  I  had  to  mount 
guard ;  the  thought  then  flashed  across  my  mind  that  a  false  alarm 
would  save  my  darling,  I  at  once  cried,  "  Flee  who  may  ! "  Most  of 
the  robbers  were  already  laden  with  spoil,  some  had  nothing,  yet  they 
fled,  all  of  them,  leaving  me  master  of  the  field.  The  cock  awoker 
and  discovering  that  his  harem  had  been  invaded,  crowed  lustily, 
compelling  me  to  retreat.  I  kept  watch  .  over  that  farmyard  for 
many  days,  but  could  never  win  a  kind  look  from  Cocotte,  who, 
although  frequently  beaten  by  her  unfaithful  lord,  seemed  daily  to- 
grow  fonder  of  his  society.  Nevertheless,  I  would  not  have  tried  to- 


A  FOX  IN  A   TRAP. 


135 


gain  her  love  by  unveiling  the  character  of  ray  rival,  and  depriving  her 
of  her  dearest  illusions. 


\- 

" '  The  image  of  my  old  instructor  often  rises  before  me,  and  I  feel, 


136 


PUBLIC  AND  PRIVATE  LIFE  OF  ANIMALS. 


while  he  raised  me  out  of  my  own  level  by  education,  he  rendered  me 
more  unhappy  than  the  most  ignorant  and  besotted  of  my  kind.  What 
more  can  I  say  ?  the  incidents  of  an  unrequited  love  are  so  few  that  I 


am  surprised  at  the  brevity  of  my  tale  when  recalling  the  misery  o  f 
my  life.      Now,  I  shall  leave   you,  the  sun  is  going    down;    think 


A  FOX  IN  A   TRAP. 


137 


of  me,  sir,  when  you  hear  it  said  'that  foxes  are  wicked.  Do  not 
forget  that  you  have  met  a  kindly-disposed,  sensitive,  and  therefore 
miserable  fox." 

"Is  that  all?"  I  said. 

"  Of  course,"  replied  Breloque,  "  unless  the  interest  you  feel  in  my 
story  prompts  you  to  inquire  what  became  of  the  different  personages." 

"Interest  never  prompts  me  to  do  anything,"  I  replied;  "I  like 
everything  to  be  in  its  proper  place.  It  is  therefore  better  to  know 
what  the  characters  are  now  doing,  than  to  risk  meeting  them  in  places 
where  they  are  least  expected." 

"  The  fox,"  continued  Breloque,  "  came  across  our  common  enemy. 
One  day  venturing  to  carry  off  Cocotte,  he  was  shot  by  the  farmer,  who 
hung  his  tail  up  as  a  trophy." 

"  What  became  of  the  cock?" 

"Listen  ;  he  is  crowing,  the  cowardly,  stupid,  selfish  rascal !  " 

"  Have  you  not  for  the  fox  the  same  hatred  I  have  for  the  cock  ? " 

"Do  not  deceive  yourself;  the  fox  was  the  craftiest  rogue  you  ever 
met.  Had  he  succeeded  in  deluding  the  farmer  as  he  deceived  you, 
his  thirst  would  have  been  slaked  with  the  blood  of  Cocotte.  He 
would  have  proved  as  benevolent  as  a  Bashi-Bazouk  in  Bulgaria. 

"I  don't  doubt  that,"  said  Breloque,  "but  I  am  sorry  for  it." 


~~*  ?* 


TEXT-BOOK 


FOR  THE  GUIDANCE  OF  ANIMALS  STUDYING  FOR 

HONOURS. 

MR.  EDITOR, — DONKEYS  have  long  felt  the  need 
of  asserting  their  rights  before  the  tribunal  of 
animals,  and  putting  down  the  injustice  which 
has  made  them  the  living  types  of  stupidity. 

If  skill  is  wanting  in  the  writer  of  this  manu- 
script, courage  is  not.    Moreover,  let  me  conjure 
i  the  silent  sage  to  examine  himself  in  order  to 
£  find  out  the  secret  of  his  success  in  society,  and 
ten  chances  to  one  he  will  admit  that  it   all 
comes  of  his  being  an  ass.     Without  donkeys 
in  political  circles,  majorities  would  never  be 
obtained, 'so  that  an  ass  may  pass  as  a  type  of 
those  governed. 

But  my  intention  is  not  to  talk  politics.  I  only  wish  to  prove  that 
we  have  many  more  opportunities,  were  they  rightly  used,  of  securing 
honours  than  fall  to  the  lot  of  highly  gifted  and  cultured  creatures. 

My  master  was  a  simple  schoolmaster  in  the  environs  of  Paris.  He 
was  a  good  teacher,  and  a  thoroughly  miserable  character.  We  had 
this  peculiarity  in  common,  if  we  had  our  choice,  we  would  have  decided 
to  live  well  and  do  nothing.  This  characteristic,  common  both  to  asses 
and  men,  is  vulgarly  called  ambition,  at  the  same  time  I  think  it  is 
only  the  spontaneous  growth  of  modern  society.  I  myself  had  opened 
a  class,  and  taught  in  a  manner  which  excited  my 'master's  jealousy, 
although  he  acknowledged  himself  struck  by  the  results  of  my  method. 
"  Why  is  it,"  he  one  day  said  to  me,  "  that  the  children  of  men  take 
so  much  longer  to  learn  to  read,  write,  and  become  useful  members  of 
society,  than  young  donkeys  do  to  learn  how  to  earn  a  living  1  How 
is  it  that  asses  have  so  profited  by  all  that  their  fathers  knew  before 
them,  that  their  education  is,  so  to  speak,  born  in  them  ?  So  it  is, 
indeed,  with  every  species  of  animal  excepting  the  human.  Why  is 
man  not  born  with  his  mind  and  faculties  fully  developed  ? " 

Although   my   master  was   quite   ignorant   of  natural  history,   he 


TEXT-BOOK  FOR  GUIDANCE  OF  ANIMALS. 


'39 


imagined  that  these  questions  in  themselves  were  so  thoroughly  scientific 
and  posing  as  to  entitle  him  to  a  place  under  the  Minister  of  Public 
Instruction,  where'  he  might  extend  his  valuable  reflections  at  the 
expense  of  the  State. 


"'**"•;" 


We  entered  Paris  by  the  Fabourg  St.  Mareian.  When  we  reached 
the  elevated  ground  near  the  Barrier  d'ltalie,  in  full  view  of  the 
metropolis,  we  each  delivered  an  oration  in  our  own  way. 

"Tell  me,  0  Sacred  Shrine  wherein  the  budget  is  cooked,  when 
will  the  signature  of  some  parvenu  professor  obtain  for  me  food,  raiment, 
and  shelter,  the  cross  of  the  Legion  of  Honour,  and  a  chair  of  no 
matter  what,  no  matter  where,  &c.  ? 


140  PUBLIC  AND  PRIVATE  LIFE  OF  ANIMALS. 


"  Believe  me,  I  should  say  so  much  good  of  every  one  that  no  harm 
could  be  breathed  against  me. 

"  Tell  me  how  shall  I  reach  the  Minister  and  convince  him  of  my  fit- 
ness to  wear  my  country's  honours." 

I  followed  my  master's  eloquent  appeal. 

"  0  charming  Jardin  des  Plantes,  where  animals  are  so  well  fed, 
will  you  never  open  to  me  your  stables  of  twenty  feet  square  1  your 
Swiss  valleys  thirty  yards  wide  ?  Shall  I  ever  be  one  of  those  happy 
animals  who  roll  on  the  clover  of  the  budget,  or  stalled  beneath  grace- 
ful trellis-work  bearing  the  superscription,  'An  African  donkey, 
presented  by  So-and-so,  captain  of  a  ship,  &c.  1 ' 

After  saluting  the  city  of  acrobats  and  fortune-tellers,  we  entered  the 
noxious  defiles  of  a  celebrated  fabourg  famed  for  leather  and  science. 
At  last  we  found  shelter  iri  a  wretched  inn  crowded  with  Savoyards 
with  their  marmots,  Italians  with  their  monkeys,  Avergnats  with 
their  dogs,  Parisians  with  their  white  mice,  harpers  with  their  string- 
less  harps,  and  husky-voiced  songsters.  My  master  had  with  him 
six  francs,  the  only  barrier  between  us  and  suicide.  The  inn  called 
The  Mercy  is  one  of  these  philanthropic  establishments  where  one 
may  sleep  for  a  penny  a  night,  and  enjoy  a  meal  for  fourpence  half- 
penny. It  also  boasts  a  stable,  where  all  sorts  of  animals  may  be  lodged 
promiscuously.  My  master  naturally  placed  me  there. 

Marmus,  such  was  my  master's  name,  could  not  avoid  contemplating 
the  throng  of  depraved  beasts  to  which  I  was  added.  A  monkey  in 
marquis  furbelows,  plumed  head-dress,  and  gold  waistband  ;  quick  as 
gunpowder,  was  flirting  with  a  military  hero  of  popular  burlesque ; 
an  old  rabbit,  well  up  in  his  exercises  ;  an  intelligent  poodle  of  modern 
dramatic  fame  spoke  of  the  capriciousness  of  the  public  to  an  old 
ape  seated  on  his  troubadour's  hat ;  a  group  of  grey  mice  were  ad- 
miring a  cat  taught  to  respect  canaries,  and  engaged  in  conversation 
with  a  marmot. 

"  Confound  these  creatures  ! "  exclaimed  my  master ;  "  I  thought  I 
had  discovered  a  new  science,  that  of  comparing  instincts,  now  I  am 
cruelly  undeceived  by  this  stableful  of  beasts,  who  are  all  of  them  the 


same  as  men 


"  Ah,  sir,"  said  a  shaggy-looking  young  man,  "  you  desire  to  gain  a 
reputation  for  learning,  and  yet  you  pause  at  trifles.  Know,  ambitious 
one,  that  in  order  to  succeed  you  must  allow  your  external  appearance 
to  indicate  the  height  of  your  aspirations.  The  traveller  who  seeks  to 


TEXT-BOOK  FOR  GUIDANCE  OF  ANIMALS,  141 

make  his  way  into  a  terra  incognita  must  not  encumber  himself  with 
baggage.  Our  great  explorers  were  men  who  wore  an  expression  of 
resolute  earnestness,  and  carried  an  umbrella  and  a  tooth-pick.  They 
penetrated  to  the  heart  of  savagedom,  and  brought  back  to  civilisation 
;i  wayworn  exterior  and  the  power  of  discoursing  on  the  perils  of  their 
journeys." 

"  To  what  great  genius  have  I  the  honour  of  speaking  ?  " 

"  A  poor  fellow  who  has  tried  everything,  and  lost  everything  except 
his  enormous  appetite,  and  who,  while  waiting  for  something  to  turn 
up,  lives  by  selling  newspapers,  and  lodges  here.  Who  are  you,  pray  ? " 

"A  resigned  elementary  teacher,  who  naturally  does  not  know  much, 
but  who  has  asked  himself  this  question,  'Why  is  it  that  animals 
possess  d,  priori  the  special  science  of  their  lives  called  instinct,  while 
man  learns  nothing  without  extraordinary  toil  ] ' ; 

"  Because  science  is  in  its  infancy ! "  exclaimed  the  adventurer. 
"  Have  you  ever  studied  '  Puss  in  Boots '  ?  " 

"  I  used  to  tell  it  to  my  pupils  when  they  had  been  good." 

••  Well,  my  dear  sir,  it  points  the  line  of  conduct  for  all  to  follow  who 
wish  to  succeed.  What  did  the  cat  do?  He  told  every  one  that  his 
master  possessed  lands  ;  he  was  believed.  Do  you  understand  that  it 
is  enough  to  make  known  that  one  is,  one  has,  one  intends  to  have  ? 
What  does  it  matter,  if  you  have  nothing,  if  others  believe  that  you 
have  all ?" 

"  But '  vce  soli  /'  says  the  Scripture.  In  fact,  in  politics,  as  in  love,  two 
are  better  than  one.  You  have  invented  Instinctology,  and  you  shall 
have  a  chair  of  Comparative  Instinct ;  you  shall  be  the  great  modern  sage, 
and  I  shall  announce  it  to  the  whole  world — to  Europe,  to  Paris,  to  the 
Minister,  to  his  secretary,  his  clerks  and  supernumeraries.  Mahomet 
became  a  prophet,  not  because  he  was  gifted  with  prophetic  inspiration, 
but  because  his  followers  proclaimed  him  prophet." 

"I  am  quite  willing  to  become  a  great  savant,"  said  my  master 
resignedly,  "  but  I  shall  be  asked  to  explain  my  theories." 

"  What !  would  it  be  a  science  if  you  could  explain  it  ? " 

"  Yet  a  point  to  start  from  will  be  necessary." 

"Yes,"  replied  the  young  journalist,  "we  ought  to  have  some  animal 
that  would  upset  all  the  theories  of  our  learned  men.  Baron  Cerceau, 
for  example,  has  devoted  his  life  to  placing  animals  in  absolute  divisions. 
That  is  his  plan,  but  now  other  great  naturalists  are  knocking  down  all 
the  strongholds  of  the  Baron.  Let  us  take  part  in  the  war  of  words 


142  PUBLIC  AND  PRIVATE  LIFE  OF  ANIMALS. 

and  hypothetical  ideas.  According  to  us,  instinct  will  be  the  leading 
feature  in  animals,  by  which  alone,  according  to  the  degree  of  instinct, 
they  must  be  classified.  Now,  although  instinct  will  submit  to  infinite 
modifications,  it  is  nevertheless  still  one  in  its  essence,  and  nothing  can 
prove  the  unity  of  all  things  better  than  this.  We  shall  thus  say  there 
is  only  one  animal,  as  there  is  only  one  instinct,  the  instinct  which 
characterises  all  animal  organisations.  The,  so  to  speak,  appropriation 
of  the  element  of  life  which  circumstances  change  without  affecting 
the  principle.  We  come  in  with  a  new  science  opposed  to  the  Baron, 
and  in  favour  of  the  new  school  of  philosophy  which  advocates  zoolo- 
gical unitjr.  We  shall  no  doubt  sell  our  discoveries  in  a  good  market ; 
our  opponents  must  buy  us  up." 

"  Well,"  said  Marmus,  ft  science  has  no  conscience.  But  shall  I  have 
no  need  of  my  donkey  ? " 

"  What !  have  you  a  donkey  1 "  exclaimed  the  adventurer ;  "  we  are 
saved ! !  We  shall  turn  him  into  an  extraordinary  zebra,  and  puzzle 
the  whole  learned  world  by  some  singularity  which  shall  derange  their 
most  cherished  conclusions.  Savants  live  by  nomenclature,  let  us 
reverse  it ;  they  will  be  alarmed,  they  will  capitulate,  they  will  try  to 
gain  us  over,  and,  like  so  many  who  have  gone  before,  we  may  be  gained 
over  at  our  own  price.  There  are  in  this  house  mountebanks  who  hold 
wonderful  secrets,  men  having  dwarfs,  bearded  women,  and  a  host  of 
monstrosities.  A  few  politenesses  will  win  us  the  means  of  concocting 
revolutionary  matter  such  as  shall  astonish  the  world  of  science." 

To  what  science  was  I  to  become  a  prey?  During  the  night  several 
transversal  incisions  were  made  in  my  skin,  after  my  coat  had  been 
clipped.  To  these  a  gipsy  vagrant  applied  some  strong  liquor,  and 
a  few  days  afterwards  I  became  celebrated.  In  the  papers  Parisians 
read  as  follows  : — 

"  One  of  our  most  courageous  travellers,  Adam  Marmus,  after 
passing  through  the  central  wilds  of  Africa,  has  at  last  returned, 
bringing  with  him  from  the  Mountains  of  the  Moon  a  Zebra  so 
peculiar  as  to  derange  the  fundamental  principles  of  naturalists  who 
advocate  a  system  of  merciless  division,  not  even  admitting  that 
the  horse,  in  its  wild  state,  was  ever  found  with  a  black  coat. 
The  singular  yellow  bands  of  the  new  Zebra  are  most  puzzling,  and 
can  only  be  explained  by  the  learned  Marmus  in  the  work  he  is  about 
to  give  to  the  world.  This  work,  the  result  of  many  years'  toil  and 
observation,  will  be  devoted  '*to  an  elucidation  of  Comparative  Instinct* 


TEXT-BOOK  FOR  GUIDANCE  OF  ANIMALS.  143 


a  science  discovered  by  the  illustrious  author  and  traveller.  The 
Zebra,  the  only  trophy  of  a  journey  unpiiralleled  in  the  annals  of  dis- 
covery, walks  like  a  giraffe.  Thus  it  is  proved  beyond  doubt  that 
instinct  modifies  the  forms  and  the  attributes  of  animals,  which  are  also 
greatly  affected  by  geographical  position.  From  these  hitherto  unknown 
facts  the  zoologists  will  be  enabled  to  lay  a  new  foundation  of  truth 
upon  which  to  raise  the  fabric  of  natural  history.  Adam  Marmus  has 
consented  to  make  known  his  discoveries  in  a  course  of  public  lectures." 

All  the  papers  repeated  this  audacious  fable.  While  all  Paris  was 
occupied  with  the  new  science,  Marmus  and  his  friend  took  up  their 
quarters  in  a  respectable  hotel  in  the  Rue  de  Tournon,  where  I  was 
carefully  kept  in  a  stable  under  lock  and  key.  All  the  learned 
societies  sent  delegates,  who  could  not  disguise  the  anxiety  caused 
by  this  blow  to  the  doctrine  of  the  great  Baron.  If  the  forms  and 
attributes  of  animals  changed  with  their  abodes,  science  was  upset ! 
The  genius  who  dared  to  maintain  that  life  accommodated  itself  to 
all  should  certainly  be  upheld.  The  only  distinctions  now  existing 
between  animals  could  be  understood  by  all. 

Natural  science  was  worse  than  useless ;  the  Oyster,  the  Lion,  the 
Zoophyte,  and  man  all  belonged  to  the  same  stock,  and  were  only 
modified  by  the  simplicity  or  complicity  of  their  organs.  Saltenbeck 
the  Belgian,  Vos-man-Betten,  Sir  Fairnight,  Gobtonswell,  the  learned 
Sottenbach,  Craneberg,  the  beloved  disciples  of  the  French  professor, 
were  ranged  against  the  Baron  and  his  nomenclature.  Never  had  a 
more  irritating  fact  been  thrown  between  two  belligerent  parties. 
Behind  the  Baron  were  the  academicians,  the  university  men,  legions 
of  professors,  and  the  government,  lending  their  support  to  a  theory, 
the  only  one  in  harmony  with  Scripture. 

Marmus  and  his  friend  remained  firm.  To  the  questions  of  acade- 
micians they  replied  by  bare  facts,  avoiding  the  exposition  of  their 
doctrine.  One  professor,  when  leaving,  said  to  them — 

"  Gentlemen,  the  opinion  which  you  hold  is  without  doubt  directed 
against  the  convictions  of  our  most  reliable  men  of  science,  and  in 
favour  of  the  new  schism  of  zoological  unity.  The  system,  in  the 
interest  of  science,  ought  not  to  be  brought  to  light." 

"  Say,  rather,  in  the  interest  of  scientific  men,"  said  Marmus. 

" Be  it  so,"  replied  the  professor ;  "it  must  be  nipped  in  the  bud, 
for  after  all,  gentlemen,  it  is  Pantheism." 

"You  think  so?"  said  the  journalist.     "How  can  one  admit  the 


HI  PUBLIC  AND  PRIVATE  LIFE  OF  ANIMALS. 

existence  of  material  molecular  force  which  renders  matter  inde- 
pendent of  the  Creator." 

"  Why  should  not  the  Creator  have  ordered  that  everything  should 
be  subject  to,  and  dependent  upon,  one  universal  law  ?  "  said  Marmus. 

"  You  see,"  said  his  friend  in  a  whisper  to  the  professor,  "  he  is  as 


profound  as  Newton.     Why  do  you  not  present  him  to  the  Minister  of 
Public  Instruction  ? " 

"  I   shall  do  so   at  once,"  rejoined  the  professor,  happy  to  make 
himself  master  of  the  owner  of  the  Zebra.     "  Perhaps  the  minister 


TEXT-BOOK  FOR  GUIDANCE  OF  ANIMALS.  145 

would  be  pleased  to  see  our  curious  animal  before  any  one  else,  and 
you  will  of  course  accompany  him." 

"  I  thank  you." 

"  He  would  then  be  able  to  appreciate  the  service  which  such  a 
journey  has  rendered  to  science,"  continued  our  friend.  "Mr.  Mannus 
has  not  visited  the  Mountains  of  the  Moon  for  nothing.  You  shall  see 
this  for  yourself;  the  animal  walks  like  a  giraife.  As  to  the  yellow 
bands,  they  are  caused  by  the  temperature,  which  was  found  to  be 
several  degrees  Fahrenheit,  and  many  degrees  Reaumur." 

"  Perhaps  it  is  your  intention  to  engage  in  public  instruction  ?  " 

"  Splendid  career  ! "  cried  the  journalist  starting. 

"I  do  not  allude  to  the  profession  of  noodles,  which  consists  in  tak- 
ing the  students  out  for  an  airing,  and  neglecting  them  at  home ;  but 
to  teaching  at  the  Athenaeum,  which  leads  to  nothing,  save  to  securing 
a  professorship  and  pupils,  which  pave  the  way  to  all  sorts  of  good 
things.  We  will  talk  of  that  again.  All  this  took  place  early  in  the 
nineteenth  century,  when  ministers  felt  the  need  of  making  them- 
selves popular." 

The  partizans  of  zoological  unity  learned  that  a  minister  was  about 
to  inspect  the  precious  Zebra,  and/earing  intrigue,  the  worthy  disciples 
of  our  great  opponent  flocked  to  see  the  illustrious  Marmus.  My 
masters  obstinately  refused  to  exhibit  me,  as  I  had  not  acquired  my 
giraffe  step,  and  the  chemical  application  to  my  Zebra  bands  had  not 
yet  completed  the  illusion.  A  young  disciple  discoursed  on  the  new 
discovery  with  eloquence  and  force,  and  my  cunning  masters  profited 
by  his  learning." 

"Our  Zebra,"  said  the  journalist,  "carries  conviction  to  the  most 
incredulous." 

"Zebra,"  said  Marmus.  "It  is  no  longer  a  Zebra,  but  a  fact  which 
engenders  a  new  science." 

"  Your  science,"  responded  the  unitariste,  "  strengthens  the  ground 
taken  up  by  Sir  J.  Fairnight  on  the  subject  of  Spanish,  Scotch,  and 
Swiss  sheep,  who  eat  more  or  less,  according  to  the  sort  of  herbage 
in  pasture  lands." 

"  But,"  exclaimed  our  friend,  "  the  products,  are  they  not  also  dif- 
ferent in  different  latitudes  and  under  different  atmospheric  conditions. 
Our  Zebra  explains  why  butter  is  white  in  the  Brie  in  Normandy,  and 
the  butter  and  cheese  yellow  in  Neufchatel  and  Meaux/' 

"You  have  placed  your  finger  on  the  point  of  greatest  vitality," 

K 


146  PUBLIC  AND  PRIVATE  LIFE  OF  ANIMALS. 

cried  the  enthusiastic  disciple  ;  "  little  facts  solve  great  problems.  The 
question  of  cheese  bears  a  subtle  affinity  to  the  greater  questions  of 
zoological  form  and  comparative  instinct.  Instinct  is  the  entire  ani- 
mal, just  as  thought  is  man  concentrated.  If  instinct  is  modified  and 
changed  according  to  the  latitude  in  which  it  is  developed,  it  is  clear 
that  it  must  be  the  same  with  the  Zoon,  with  the  exterior  living  form. 
There  is  but  one  principle  of  instinct." 

"  One  for  all  beings,"  said  Marmus. 

"  Then,"  continued  the  disciple,  "  nomenclatures  are  all  very  well  for 
us  to  indicate  the  different  degrees  of  instinct,  but  they  no  longer  con- 
stitute a  science." 

"  This,  sir,"  said  the  journalist,  tl  is  death  to  the  Mollusks,  the  Arti- 
culata,  the  Radiata,  Mammifera,  Cirropedia,  Acephala,  and  Crustacea. 
In  fact,  it  breaks  down  all  the  strongholds  of  natural  history,  and  sim- 
plifies everything  so  thoroughly  as  to  destroy  accepted  science. 

" Believe  me,"  said  the  disciple,  "men  of  science  will  defend  their 
position.  There  will  be  much  ink  spilt  and  pens  spoiled  in  the  contest, 
to  say  nothing  of  the  reams  of  paper  that  will  be  destroyed  in  keeping 
the  wounds  open.  Poor  naturalists  !  No,  they  will  hardly  allow  a  single 
genius  to  wrest  from  their  hands  the  labours  of  so  many  lives." 

"  We  shall  be  as  much  calumniated  as  your  great  philosopher  himself. 
Ah !  Fontenelle  was  right.  When  we  have  secured  truth,  let  us  close 
our  fists  tightly  over  it." 

" Shall  you  be  afraid,  gentlemen?"  said  the  disciple;  "shall  you  be 
traitors  to  the  sacred  cause  of  the  animals? " 

"  No,  sir,"  cried  Marmus,  "  I  shall  never  abandon  the  science  to 
which  I  have  devoted  the  best  days  of  my  life ;  and  to  prove  my  sin- 
cerity we  must  conjointly  edit  the  history  of  the  Zebra." 

"  We  are  saved,"  exclaimed  Marmus,  when  the  disciple  had  gone. 

Soon  after,  the  ablest  pupil  of  the  great  philosopher  drew  up  a  notice 
of  the  Zebra.  Under  the  name  of  Marmus  he  launched  out  boldly,  and 
formed  the  new  science.  This  pamphlet  enabled  us  at  once  to  enter 
into  the  enjoyable  phase  of  celebrity.  My  master  and  his  friend  were 
overwhelmed  with  invitations  to  dinners,  dances,  receptions,  morning 
and  evening  parties.  They  were  proclaimed  learned  and  illustrious 
everywhere.  They  indeed  had  too  many  supporters,  ever  for  a  moment 
to  doubt  their  being  geniuses  of  the  highest  order.  A  copy  of  the 
work  by  Marmus  was  sent  to  the  Baron.  The  Academy  of  Science  then 
found  the  affair  so  grave  that  not  a  member  dared  give  his  opinion." 


TEXT-BOOK  FOR  GUIDANCE  OF  ANIMALS.  147 

"  We  must  see,  we  must  wait,"  they  said.  Sathenbeck,  the  learned 
Belgian,  is  coming  by  express,  Vas-man-Bitten  from  Holland,  and  the 
illustrious  Fabricus  Gobtouswell  are  on  their  way  to  see  the  Zebra. 
The  young  and  ardent  disciple  of  zoological  unity  was  engaged  on  a 
memoir  which  contained  terrible  conclusions,  directed  against  the 
Baron's  dogmas.  Already  a  party  was  forming  to  promote  unity 
applied  to  botany.  The  illustrious  professors,  Condolle  and  Mirbel, 
hesitated  out  of  consideration  for  the  authority  of  the  Baron. 

I  was  now  ready  for  inspection.  My  mountebank  artist,  in  addition 
to  finishing  my  bands,  had  furnished  me  with  a  cow's  tail,  while  my 
yellow  stripes  gave  me  the  appearance  of  an  animated  Austrian 
sentry-box. 

"  It  is  astonishing,"  said  the  minister,  as  he  gazed  upon  my  coat  for 
the  first  time. 

"Astonishing!"  echoed  the  professor;  "but,  thank  goodness,  not 
inexplicable." 

"  I  am  puzzled,"  said  the  minister,  "  how  best  to  reconcile  this  new 
discovery  with  all  our  preconceived  notions  of  zoology." 

"  A  most  difficult  problem,"  suggested  Marmus. 

"It  seems  strange,"  said  the  great  man,  "that  this  African  Zebra 
should  live  in  the  temperature  of  the  Rue  de  Tournon." 

This  was  treading  on  delicate  ground,  but  my  master  was  equal  to  the 
occasion,  although  on  hearing  the  remark  I  began  to  walk  like  an  ass. 

"Yes,"  replied  Marmus,  "I  hope  he  may  live  until  ray  lectures  are  over." 

"You  are  a  clever  fellow,  but  bear  in  mind  that  your  new  and 
popular  science  must  be  moulded  to  fit  in  with  the  doctrines  of  the 
worthy  Baron.  Perhaps  it  would  lend  dignity  to  your  cause  were  you 
represented  by  a  pupil." 

Here  the  Baron  entered,  and  overhearing  the  remark,  said  : — 

"  Ah,  sir,  I  have  a  pupil  of  great  promise,  who  repeats  admirably 
what  he  is  taught.  We  call  this  sort  of  man  a  vulgariser." 

"And  we,"  said  the  journalist,  "call  him  a  parrot.  Those  men 
render  real  service  to  science  as  they  talk  it  down  to  the  level  of  the 
popular-  mind." 

"  Well,  that  is  settled,"  said  Marmus,  taking  the  Baron's  hand ; 
"  let  us  pull  together." 

The  minister  said  :  "  Marmus,  you  deserve,  and  shall  receive,  the 
substantial  reward  of  genius  in  such  honour  and  support  as  your  country 
has  to  bestow." 


148 


PUBLIC  AND  PRIVATE  LIFE  OF  ANIMALS. 


The  Geographical  Society,  jealously  wishing  to  imitate  the  govern- 
ment, offered  to  defray  the  entire  cost  of  the  journey  to  the  Mountains 
of  the  Moon,  which  offer  was  ultimately  carried  into  effect.  These 
timely  aids  came  in  opportunely  as  my  master  had  been  burning  the 
financial  candle  at  both  ends. 

The  journalist  was  placed  as  librarian  in  the  Jardin  des  Plantes, 
and  abused  the  opportunity  which  leisure  afforded  him  by  running 
down  my  master  and  his  science.  Nevertheless  Marmus  coined  a  wide 
reputation  out  of  the  base  metal  of  the  parrot's  jargon,  and  sustained 
his  hard-earned  fame  by  discreet  and  modest  silence.  He  was  elected 
professor  of  something  somewhere,  and  would  no  doubt  have  filled  the 
post  honourably  had  a  time  and  place  ever  been  named  when  he 
would  be  required  to  fill  a  chair. 

As  for  myself,  I  was  bought  for  the  London  Zoological  Gardens, 
where  change  of  climate  and  kind  treatment  rendered  me  the  wonder 
of  the  world,  as  I  gradually  changed  from  a  strange  Zebra  to  a  domesti- 
cated Cockney  ass. 


THE     INCONSISTENCIES     OF    A    GREYHOUND. 

THE  theatre  has  always  had  a  peculiar 
charm  for  me,  and  yet  there  are  few 
persons  who  have  greater  reason  to  hold 
it  in  utter  abhorrence,  for  it  was  there 
•5"  at  about  nine  o'clock  one  evening  that  I 
first  beheld  my  husband.  As  you  may 
well  suppose  every  detail  of  our  meeting  is  indelibly  fixed  in  my  mind. 
I  have  indeed  many  grave  reasons  for  not  forgetting  it.  In  all  frankness, 
I  wish  to  accuse  no  one,  but  I  was  never  meant  for  married  life. 
Elegant,  attractive,  fitted  only  to  revel  in  the  pleasures  of  the  world, 
and  feast  on  the  joys  of  a  great  life,  space,  luxury,  brilliancy,  were 
necessary  to  me.  I  was  born  to  be  a  duchess,  and  married — 0  heavens  ! 
the  first  clarionet  player  at  the  Dogs'  theatre.  It  was  a  serious  joke  ! 
Was  it  not?  It  has  moved  me  to  laughter  times  without  number. 
Yes  !  he  really  played  the  clarionet  every  evening  from  eight  to  eleven, 
the  easy  parts  too,  at  least,  he  told  me  so.  I  daresay  it  was  not  true  for 
I  never  found  that  he  played  false  to  me. 

During  the  day  he  was  second  trombone  to  the  parish  of  dogs,  and 
above  all,  his  greatest  ambition  was  a  hat  in  the  National  Guards. 

These  details  may  seem  grotesque.  Pray  forgive  me  if  they  are,  as 
I  only  wish  to  discharge  my  duty. 

One  evening  when  I  was  at  the  theatre,  I  noticed  between  the  acts 
a  big  burly  dog  in  the  orchestra  wearing  spectacles,  a  cap,  and  blowing 
his  nose  in  a  checked  cotton  handkerchief.  He  made  so  much  noise 
that  all  heads  were  turned  towards  him.  Had  any  one  said  that  that 
creature  would  be  my  future  husband  I  should  not  have  replied.  I 
should  have  treated  the  remark  with  silent  contempt.  Yet  under  the 
most  embarrassing  circumstances,  with  all  eyes  turned  upon  him,  and 
amid  a  peal  of  laughter  my  future  spouse  slowly  and  carefully  folded  his 
handkerchief,  looking  at  the  company  over  his  spectacles,  at  the  same 


150  PUBLIC  AND  PRIVATE  LIFE  OF  ANIMALS. 


time  changing  the  mouthpiece  of  his  instrument  with  a  calmness  per- 
fectly charming  to  behold.  This  singular  proof  of  sang-froid  caused  me 
to  turn  my  eye-glass  upon  him.  He  no  doubt  remarked  this  movement, 
for  he  immediately  took  off  his  cap,  adjusted  the  short  hair  on  his  big 
head,  replaced  his  spectacles,  settled  his  tie,  and  pulled  down  his  waist- 
coat. There  is  no  monster,  however  ugly,  who  would  not  do  the  same,  in 
his  position.  His  eye  which  caught  mine  seemed  to  me  most  brilliant. 

There  was  as  little  doubt  of  his  ugliness  as  of  his  strange  emotion. 
I  was  young,  silly  and  coquettish,  so  it  amused  me  to  be  looked  at  like 
this.  The  chief  mounted  his  throne  and  the  music  commenced  anew. 
The  fat  clarionet  player  cast  a  last  glance  at  me,  and  then  pulled  himself 
together  for  work.  •  He  had  started  a  trifle  behind-hand,  and  galloped 
over  his  part  to  make  up  for  lost  time — turning  over  two  pages  at 
once,  and  running  up  and  down  with  his  big  fingers  on  his  unfortunate 
pipe,  producing  the  most  hideous  snortings  imaginable — the  conductor, 
red  as  a  peony  flower,  called  to  him  in  the  midst  of  the  noise  menacing 
him  with  his  bow.  His  neighbours  pushed  him,  trod  on  his  toes, 
hooted  him,  and  showered  invectives  on  his  head,  but  he  calmly 
pursued  his  notes;,  no  doubt  blowing  through  his  pipe  a  hurricane  of 
rage.  Knowing  I  was  the  sole  cause  of  the  delirium  I  felt  flattered ; 
I  pitied  and  loved  him  !  After  about  a  quarter  of  an  hour  he  stopped, 
and  placing  his  clarionet  between  his  legs,  proceeded  to  rub  his  round 
head  with  his  cotton  handkerchief. 

On  leaving  the  play,  at  about  half-past  eleven,  it  rained  slightly,  and 
on  passing  the  stage  entrance  we  were  nearly  knocked  down  by  an 
individual  wearing  a  white  hairy  hat.  I  can  still  see  him  coming  out 
of  the  door  and  bearing  down  upon  us — I  say  us,  because  my  mother 
was  with  me ;  I  had  not  yet  ventured  to  the  theatre  alone. 

"  Ladies,"  cried  the  Bull-dog,  "  you  have,  I  daresay,  already  guessed 
that  the  white  hat  shelters  the  clarionet.  Ladies,  stop  for  heaven's 
sake!" 

"  Why  ?  how  ?  How  dare  you  accost  us  in  this  manner ;  stand  on 
one  side,  sir,  stand  on  one  side  ! "  said  my  mother  with  a  lofty  air. 

Before  such  a  show  of  nobility  the  musician  stammered,  only  taking 
off"  his  hat.  "It  rains,  ladies,  and  you  have  no  umbrella,  deign  to 
accept  mine." 

My  mother  who  has  always  been  careful,  feared  water  quite  as  much 
as  she  did  fire,  and  accordingly  was  fain  to  accept  this  umbrella,  never 
dreaming  that  it  would  lead  me  to  the  altar  of  Hymen. 


THE  INCONSISTENCIES  OF  A  GREYHOUND.  131 

I  purposely  refrain  from  dwelling  on  details  as  uninteresting  to  the 
reader  as  they  are  irritating  to  myself.  The  bold  musician  taking 
advantage  of  the  introduction  afforded  by  an  unlucky  shower  of  rain 
had  paid  us  several  visits,  when  at  last  my  mother  said  to  me, 

"  Eliza,  tell  me  frankly,  what  do  you  think  of  him?" 

"  Who,  mamma?"  I  said  inquiringly;  "the  musician?  " 

"  Yes,  little  rogue,  the  clarionet,  the  young  Bull-dog  who  wants 
your  hand.  You  know  quite  well  I  am  speaking  of  him." 

"  But,  mamma,  I  find  him  so  horribly  ugly." 

"  So  do  I,  my  dear;  but  you  have  not  answered  my  question." 

"  Oh  !  ah  !  well !  he  is  vulgar,  grotesque,  and  is  as  disagreeable  as 
the  rain.1' 

"Quite  so,"  said  my  mother;  "but  again  that  is  not  the  point. 
Does  he  please  you  when  viewed  as  a  sober,  steady,  desirable  hus- 
band 1 " 

"  I  won't  say  he  does  not,"  and  I  burst  into  tears. 

"  Come,  no  nonsense,"  said  my  mother  ;  "  I  know  you  would  like  to 
be  married,  and  this  Bull-dog  has  many  advantages.  His  double  posi- 
tion as  clarionet  and  trombone  to  the  parish  secures  for  him  a  comfort- 
able living.  What  more  can  one  require  of  a  husband?  I  think,  iny 
child,  that  physical  beauty  and  grace  are  only  fleeting,  besides  you» 
yourself  have  beauty  enough  and  to  spare  to  adorn  a  whole  family. 
It  is  by  the  intelligent  union  of  opposite  natures  that  conjugal  felicity 
is  best  secured.  Well,  that  being  so,  it  becomes  a  positive  advantage 
for  you  to  acquire  a  thoroughly  ugly  husband,  a  heavy,  taciturn,  serious, 
h&rd-working  husband,  who  is  certain  to  be  a  model  of  economy  and 
a  flection." 

I  saw  at  a  glance  that  my  mother  was  right,  and  gave  my  consent. 
Had  it  all  to  be  done  over  again,  I  think  now  I  should  do  exactly  as 
I  did  then.  A  sure,  steady  husband  is  a  great  prize  in  life.  It  is 
always  good  to  have  bread  on  the  shelf,  and  one  must  be  very  stupid 
indeed  not  to  be  able  to  get  little  luxuries. 
I  therefore  said  :  "  Let  us  marry  !  " 

Do  not  human  beings  say  :  "  Let  us  take  our  degree ;  it  will  be  the 
making  of  us." 

To  say  my  honeymoon  was  long  and  delightful,  or  that  I  dis- 
covered a  hitherto  unknown  mine  of  devotion  and  romance  beneath 
the  hard  crust  of  my  husband's  unsightly  exterior,  would  be  simply 
fiction.  It  is  much  nearer  the  mark  to  say  at  once  that  the  coarse 


152  PUBLIC  AND  PRIVATE  LIFE  OF  ANIMALS. 

nature  of  my  spouse  soon  revealed  itself  in  all  its  odiousness.  His 
every  look,  every  movement,  wounded  my  refined  susceptibility.  He 
rose  at  daybreak,  and  awoke  me  with  the  snorting  of  his  clarionet,, 
which  he  played  with  that  degree  of  obstinacy  and  labour  which 
belongs  to  mediocrity. 

"  Softly,  my  dear,  softly ;  I  tell  you  it  would  be  better  so,"  I  would 
say. 

He  strove  with  all  his  might  to  modulate  the  notes,  but  for  all  that 
his  tenderest  passages  made  everything  tremble.  I  even  shook  with 
rage  !  What  irritated  me  most  was  that  his  instrument  monopolised 
his  whole  attention. 

"  Won't  you  take  a  walk  ?  have  a  little  fresh  air  ? "  I  would  say  to- 
him.  "  You  must  feel  tired,  dear." 

I  could  have  beaten  him.  When  we  walked  out  together  he  used 
to  stop  and  gossip  at  all  the  street  corners,  turning  up  all  sorts  of 
filthy  heaps.  Oh,  how  he  made  me  suffer;  he  was  born  to  be  a  butcher's 
dog.  How  many  times  has  he  not  left  me  to  pick  up  a  bone,  or 
quarrel  with  some  inoffensive  dog  ?  His  loud  laugh  and  vulgar  con- 
versation with  ill-conditioned  curs,  and  .  .  . 

I  began  to  hate  him ;  he  bothered  me,  irritated  me  beyond  measure. 
J  own  he  would  have  cut  himself  in  quarters  to  make  our  home  happy r 
and  he  worked  like  a  slave.  But,  alas  !  money  can  never  compensate 
for  a  badly-assorted  match.  Little  by  little  I  withdrew  myself  from 
his  company,  and  took  to  loitering  about  alone.  I  frequented  a  public 
garden,  the  resort  of  the  aristocratic  world,  where  every  one  was  seen 
to  advantage.  My  delight  knew  no  bounds  when  I  discovered  that  I 
was  much  noticed.  I  had  found  my  own  set  at  last. 

One  day  I  remember  walking  along  a  shady  alley  when  I  heard 
a  voice  whisper,  "Oh,  madam,  how  happy  would  he  be  who,  in  the- 
midst  of  the  crowd,  could  attract  your  attention."  These  words,  so 
respectfully  uttered,  and  so  full  of  a  something,  a  sort  of  passionate 
earnestness,  pleased  me  immensely.  I  turned  and  beheld  a  well- 
dressed,  beautiful  insect  flying  near  me.  His  manner  was  so  graceful 
and  his  flight  so  fashionable,  that  I  at  once  perceived  he  had  moved 
in  the  higher  circles  of  the  air-istocracy ;  besides,  he  seemed  to  me  to 
know  his  value,  and  to  account  himself  a  very  fine  fellow  indeed. 

"  Ah,  Greyhound  ! "  he  said,  "  how  beautiful  you  are.  What  a  fine 
head  you  have — a  true  type  of  the  classic.  Your  feet  would  hardly 


THE  INCONSISTENCIES  OF  A  GREYHOUND.  153 

soil  a  lily-leaf.     Your  silky  dress,  too,  is  so  simple ;  yet  it  is  enough 
to  set  off  such,  charms  as  yours." 

,-stfY;' 


- ,  _ •_ 

' B  ;  __- -^ _-— a 


I  quickened  my  pace,  trembling  at  the  audacity  of  this  polished 
flatterer.     Still  he  followed,  and  his  voice  vibrated  in  my  ear  like 


154  PUBLIC  AND  PRIVATE  LIFE  OF  ANIMALS. 


delicious  music.  He  had  evidently  no  ordinary  appreciation  of  the 
beautiful. 

"You  are  married,  sweet  one? "  he  added. 

I  could  not  resist  the  temptation  of  fancying  that  my  fetters  were 
broken,  so  I  replied  gaily,  "  No,  I  am  a  widow,  sir  ! " 

I  saw  no  harm  in  this  flirtation.  What  danger  was  there,  after 
all,  in  the  fact  that  an  insect  thought  me  pretty,  and  expressed  his 
admiration  *?  It  cannot  be  too  well  impressed,  upon  all  whom  it  may 
concern,  that  beauty  must  be  appreciated ;  the  public  gaze  is  the  sun, 
which  warms  it  into  bloom,  and  sustains  its  vitality ;  cold  indifference 
first  mars,  and  then  destroys  it.  Our  coquetry  simply  expresses  a  natural 
craving  for  being  seen,  a  thoroughly  honest  and  respectable  ambition. 
I  had  no  shade  of  guilty  intention,  or  exaggerated  pride ;  it  was  only 
the  consciousness  of  a  tribute,  paid  daily  by  the  sun  to  the  flower 
which  opens  to  display  its  charms  to  the  heavenly  gaze.  I  looked 
upon  this  tribute  of  the  world  as  my  right.  To  prove  that  I  was  the 
most  virtuous  greyhound  in  Paris,  I  felt  intoxicated  by  the  words  of 
my  new  admirer. 

"  Your  eyes  are  terribly  bright,"  said  my  husband  on  my  return 
home.  He  was  polishing  a  bone  in  a  corner  of  our  kennel — where  he 
had  picked  it  up,  I  do  not  know — "your  voice  is  sweeter  than  usual." 

"  To  please  you,  my  eyes  must  grow  dim  and  my  voice  husky,"  I 
replied. 

Nothing  is  more  galling  than  these  simple  remarks  some  people  are 
always  making,  and  asking  why  you  detest  them.  My  spouse  was 
growing  more  and  more  distasteful  to  me.  The  trouble  he  takes  to 
please  me  is  most  annoying.  I  hate  to  profit  by  his  ridiculous  labour, 
to  eat  his  bread ;  all  the  time  thinking  that  I  owe  it  to  the  infernal 
clarionet  he  plays  so  badly.  His  irritating  temper  is  killing  me,  his 
unutterable  calm  and  absolute  self-control  compel  me  to  shut  up  within 
myself  all  my  bad  temper,  my  indignation,  my  scorn  !  This  sort  of 
thing  is  perfectly  frightful  when  one  is  nervous. 

Life  became  a  burden,  and  the  polished  insect  soon  found  it  out,  for 
he  followed  me  about  with  his  dreamy,  delicious  buzzing. 

"  Greyhound,  you  are  unhappy !  you  are  suffering  !  I  feel  it,  I  see 
it.  Grief  ought  not  to  touch  a  heart  so  tender,"  he  said  in  tones  so 
pathetic,  that  I  looked  upon  him  as  a  deliverer. 

"  Care  will  line  your  forehead  and  tarnish  your  beauty  ! " 

I  shuddered.     What  he  said  was,  alas  !  too  true,  anxiety  would  cer- 


THE  INCONSISTENCIES  OF  A  GREYHOUND.  155 


tainly  rob  me  of  my  charms,  clog  my  steps,  and  veil  my  eyes.  His 
words  kindled  my  wrath  against  my  husband,  who  would  surely  bring 
this  grief  upon  me. 

"  Wt-11,"  pursued  the  insect,  "why  not  amuse  yourself,  come  with 
me  into  the  woods.  Go  on  in  front,  and  I  shall  follow,  so  that  I  may 
admire  you,  and  drive  away  your  gloom  with  my  songs.  Come,  let  us 
fly  from  the  city-throng,  and  fill  our  breasts  with  the  pure  air  of  the 
fields." 

I  was  choking;  air  I  must  have,  air  at  any  price.  "  To-morrow  at 
such  an  hour,  be  at  such  a  place,  and  we  shall  go  out  together." 

It  must  not  be  thought,  that  by  granting  a  rendezvous  to  this  insect, 
I  yielded  to  foolish  sentiment.  I  simply  did  it  to  oblige  him,  because 
he  rendered  justice  to  my  charms,  and  spoke  ceaselessly  about  me. 

AVhen  I  reached  home  that  evening,  I  suppose  my  face  must  have 
expressed  more  than  usual  disgust,  for  my  musician  stood  looking  at 
me  for  several  minutes  without  uttering  a  single  word,  and  then  two 
large  tears  rolled  down  his  cheeks;  he  was  grotesque.  Nothing  is 
more  dreadful  than  an  ugly  animal,  who  adds  to  his  ugliness  the 
horrors  of  grief.  I  expected  a  scene  and  reproaches,  my  heart  swelled 
within  me,  as  I  said  to  myself,  "  Let  him  but  speak,  get  angry,  curse 
me ;  I  will  do  the  same,  and  oppose  anger  to  anger.  Passion  is  like  a 
storm,  when  it  has  burst  and  is  over,  it  refreshes  the  earth.  I  began 
to  sing  snatches  of  songs,  like  little  bits  of  forked  lightning,  to  bring 
about  the  crisis.  But  he  did  nothing,  and  said  nothing,  two  or  three 
times  he  sniffed  badly,  and  carefully  placing  his  clarionet  in  its  dirty 
case,  put  on  his  cap,  and  said — 

"  Good  night,  my  dear,  I  am  going  to  the  theatre." 

AVhnt  did  these  tears  mean ;  did  he  think  that  he  was  odious  to  me  ? 
He  did  not  seem  jealous ;  how  could  he  be  so  ?  was  I  not  the  most 
irreproachable,  and,  at  the  same  time,  most  miserable  of  wives?  Oh, 
if  I  had  only  something  to  break,  scratch,  or  bite !  How  he  does  make 
me  suffer ! 

Next  day  at  the  appointed  hour,  we  met  at  our  rendezvous.  My 
fine  companion,  who  had  been  impatiently  waiting  for  me,  exclaimed, 
"  How  beautiful  you  are  !  let  us  start  for  the  woods." 

"  Yes,"  I  replied,  quite  flattered,  "  I  am  ready." 

So  off  we  started.  Although  my  mind  was  made  up,  a  certain  fore- 
boding of  evil  troubled  me.  I  could  not  throw  it  off.  It  occurred  to  me 
that  I  had  gone  too  far,  and  was  approaching  the  edge  of  a  volcano. 


156  PUBLIC  AND  PRIVATE  LIFE  OF  ANIMALS. 


THE  INCONSISTENCIES  OF  A  GREYHOUND.  157 

"  What  is  the  matter,  dear  ? :'  said  the  insect. 

"Do  you  not  see  those  ambulating  musicians  over  there  at  that 
window  ? " 

"  Yes ;  they  are  showing  performing  Beetles  to  the  inmates  of  the 
house.  It  seems  to  me  they  have  to  work  hard  for  a  living." 

"Doubtless,  but  I  am  afraid,  they  look  so  strange.  Please  let  us 
go  some  round-about  way ;  I  am  trembling." 

We  followed  a  street  to  the  left,  and  continued  our  course,  yet  I 
felt  uneasy.  It  was  a  presentiment,  for  that  day  I  had  one  of  the 
most  disagreeable  meetings  imaginable.  We  were  just  emerging  from 
the  suburbs  when  I  descried  in  a  corner  an  obscure  mass,  which  turned 
out  to  be  one  of  those  performing  Bears  who  figure  at  fairs  and 
markets.  He  was  making  a  Tortoise  go  through  all  sorts  of  wonderful 
exercises.  Nothing  was  more  natural  than  to  meet  this  Bear,  and 
yet  I  shivered  all  over.  As  my  fears  seemed  unfounded,  we  continued 
to  advance,  and  came  close  to  the  performer.  The  keen  eye  of  this 
monster  shot  forth  fire,  and  he  sprang  forward  to  bar  my  way. 

''What  are  you  doing  here,  madam?"  he  exclaimed,  crossing  his 
arms. 

"  Pray  what  does  it  matter  to  you  what  madam  is  doing  here  ? " 
said  my  protector.  "  On  my  honour  you  are  a  bold  fellow.  Who  are 
you,  I  pray?  Speak  !  Who  are  you?" 

"  Who  am  I  ? "  he  breathed  heavily.  "  I  am  the  husband  of  this 
lady." 

Saying  which,  he  threw  off  the  bearskin  disguise,  and  revealed 
the  clarionet,  the  musician,  the  Bull-dog,  my  husband,  in  fact,  pale  as 
death  and  a  prey  to  horrible  passion.  He  was  frightful ;  although,  to 
tell  the  truth,  I  liked  him  better  excited,  furious,  grinding  his  teeth 
with  rage,  than  calm  and  resigned,  with  tears  in  his  eyes.  He  was 
really  not  so  ugly  as  usual.  Unfortunately  the  picture  was  spoilt  by 
the  cap  which  he  kept  on  his  head.  That  was  a  fault  not  to  be  par- 
doned. Readers  of  the  opposite  sex  will  hardly  understand  how  it  is 
that  no  detail  escapes  us. 

"  Madam,"  said  my  husband  gravely. 

This  was  another  defect  of  his,  to  be  grave  !  It  was  evident  that  he 
had  prepared  a  speech,  and  weighed  its  effects.  The  insect  hidden 
behind  my  ear  said  in  a  low  voice:  "What!  is  it  possible,  my  queen 
of  beauty,  that  you  are  married  to  this  brute  ? " 

I  blushed  to  the  tip  of  my  nose. 


158  PUBLIC  AND  PRIVATE  LIFE  OF  ANIMALS. 


"  Madam,"  continued  my  master.      '  Mada  " — 

Here  he  sneezed  in  the  most  comical  manner.  Perhaps  a  hair  of  the 
bearskin  had  got  lodged  in  his  nose.  I  laughed  loudly,  and  quite  as 
involuntarily  as  he  had  sneezed. 

"Madam,  follow  me,"  continued  my  husband,  quite  losing  his  head. 
"  This  is  too  much  ;  follow  me  ! " 

"I  advise  him  not  to  touch  you,"  said  my  protector,  still  hiding 
behind  my  ear  ;  "  as  I  really  think  I  should  not  be  responsible  for  my 
actions.  I  feel  savage  !  " 

He  had  not  time  to  finish  his  sentence.  My  husband,  as  quick  as 
lightning,  seized  him  as  he  was  flying,  and  mutilated  him  horribly.  I 
do  not  know  what  followed.  I  became  mad,  and  by  a  violent  effort 
disengaged  myself  from  my  husband's  paws,  and  jumping  over  his 
head,  started  off.  I  soon  turned  to  look  back,  and  saw  the  Bull-dog 
struggling  with  the  police,  making  desperate  efforts  to  get  free,  but 
the  bearskin  got  entangled  about  his  feet,  and  paralysed  his  move- 
ments, and  at  last  he  was  carried  off  prisoner,  followed  by  a  jeering 
crowd. 

So,  I  reflected,  I  am  free ;  and  pursued  my  way.  The  pure  bracing 
air  and  deep  blue  of  the  sky  had  lost  their  charm.  My  breast  was 
filled  with  indignation.  I  felt  humiliated  by  this  absurd  jealousy, 
this  scandalous  outburst  at  once  comic  and  tragic.  The  comic  element 
annoyed  me  most.  This  prosaic  clarionet  appearing  all  at  once  upon 
the  scene  to  dispel  the  dream  of  my  life — can  he  ever  be  forgiven  ? 
After  wandering  about  till  I  was  giddy,  I  bent  my  steps  homeward, 
and  on  entering  found  the  place  empty.  It  seemed  to  me  I  had  lost 
something  or  some  one.  In  truth,  the  deserted  kennel  filled  me  with 
strange  longings  for  my  poor  husband.  One  gets  used  even  to  ugly, 
awkward  things.  If  camels  were  at  one  fell  swoop  deprived  of  their 
humps,  they  would  feel  strange  without  them. 

At  this  moment  a  letter  was  handed  to  me,  ornamented  with  an  im- 
posing seal.  It  was  an  invitation  from  the  authorities  to  be  present  at 
my  husband's  examination.  The  disguise  in  which  he  had  been  found, 
as  well  as  a  weapon  discovered  in  his  shoe,  told  badly  against  him. 

Next  day  after  breakfast — I  had  risen  very  late — and  after  finishing 
my  toilet  set  out  for  prison  to  cheer  niy  husband.  It  proved  a  great 
trial  to  my  nerves.  I  passed  through  damp,  dark  corridors,  enormous 
keys  grating  in  horrible  locks ;  heavy  doors  barred  with  iron  were 


THE  INCONSISTENCIES  OF  A  GREYHOUND.  159 


opened,  and  I  entered  a  place  crowded  by  miserable,  ill-conditioned, 
dirty,  repulsive  animals. 


Picking  my  steps  into  the  midst  of  this  filthy  den,  afraid  to  breathe 


160  PUBLIC  AND  PRIVATE  LIFE  OF  ANIMALS. 


the  vitiated  air,  I  beheld  my  husband  seated  in  a  corner.  Expecting 
reproaches  and  a  tragic  scene,  I  held  myself  in  readiness  to  stand  my 
ground.  But  contrary  to  my  expectations  he  lay  down  at  my  feet  and 
sobbed,  begging  my  forgiveness. 

I  was  quite  touched — although  the  scene  afforded  amusement  to  the 
other  prisoners — and  resolved  to  do  my  best  to  obtain  his  release.  I 
am  naturally  tender-hearted,  too  much  so  indeed.  It  was  most  proper 
on  his  part,  that  he  owned  his  faults  and  ugliness,  and  rendered  homage 
to  my  beauty. 

I  went -at  once  to  the  presiding  judge,  who,  viewing  me  over  his 
spectacles,  was  astonished  at  my  attractive  appearance.  He  was  clever, 
amiable,  and  leisurely,  so  that  the  trial  of  my  husband  lasted  a  long  time. 

Now  is  the  moment  when  I  must  own  a  strange  fact,  and  let  in  the 
light  on  a  hitherto  dark  recess  in  my  heart.  Hardly  was  my  Bull-dog 
incarcerated  than  my  hatred  of  him  changed  to  affection.  He  was  no 
longer  there  for  me  to  grumble  at,  and  every  time  my  eyes  caught  his 
clarionet  in  the  corner  they  filled  with  tears.  I  was  almost  frightened 
at  the  power  this  morally  and  physically  imperfect  creature  had  over 
me,  and  the  place  he  had  filled  in  my  life.  His  comical  face,  his  cap, 
even  his  silence  were  wanting.  I  never  knew  where  to  vent  my  bad 
temper,  which  at  times  made  me  feel  fit  to  burst.  I  tried  to  distract  my 
attention,  fearing  lest  my  health  should  give  way,  but  it  was  of  no  avail. 
I  hardly  dare  to  say  it,  I  loved  my  Bull-dog,  the  jealous  clarionet,  I 
loved  him !  For  all  that,  consideration  for  my  feelings  prevented 
me  repeating  my  visit  to  the  noxious  prison  which  caused  me  a 
dreadful  attack  of  neuralgia. 

Thanks  to  my  keeping  him  out  of  sight,  his  image  became  idealised 
in  my  imagination.  In  my  dreams  he  appeared  clothed  in  charms 
not  his  own.  The  news  of  his  release  was  such  a  shock  to  my  nerves 
that  I  nearly  fainted.  I  rejoiced  in  his  freedom.  Soon  after  he  arrived, 
but  oh  dear,  how  ugly  he  was  !  His  coat  was  dirty,  and  his  whole 
being  steeped  in  an  odour  most  offensive.  A  block  of  ice  had  fallen  on 
my  heart. 

"  My  Greyhound  !  my  wife  !  my  darling  !  "  he  cried,  running  to  meet 
me. 

"  Good  morning,  my  friend,"  I  replied,  averting  my  nose.  I  had  no 
courage  to  say  more,  my  dreams  had  vanished. 

All  this  passed  long  ago.  Now  my  indignation  brings  the  smile  to 
my  lips.  Nothing  more.  I  have  learned  to  make  the  most  of  my 


THE  INCONSISTENCIES  OF  A  GREYHOUND.  161 

bargain.  If  I  made  a  mistake,  and  married  a  clarionet  in  place  of  a 
first-class  tenor,  I  determined  not  to  die  of  grief,  but  rather  to  be  as 
brave  as  beautiful,  and  devote  myself  to  cultivating  all  that  was  good  in 
my  Bull-dog.  He  has  left  off  wearing  his  cap,  and  positively  plays 
better ;  his  walk  is  improved,  and,  by  the  dim  light  of  the  lamp,  his 
profile  is  marked  by  a  certain  character. 

"How  pretty  you  are,  little  heartless  one,"  he  sometimes  says.     I 
reply  in  the  same  tone,  "  How  ugly  you  are,  my  fat  jealous  one." 


THE    PORTRAIT-PAINTER. 


AM  his  heir,  I  was  his  confidant,  so 
that  no  one  can  better  relate  his 
history  than  myself. 


Born  in  a  virgin  forest  in  Brazil — 
where  his  mother  rocked  him  on  in- 
terlacing boughs — when  quite  young 
he  was  caught  by  Indian  hunters  and 
sold  at  Rio,rwith  a  collection  of  parrots,  paroquets,  humming-birds,  and 
buffalo-skins.  He  was  brought  to  Havre  in  a  ship,  where  he  became  the 
pet  of  the  sailors,  who,  in  addition  to  teaching  him  to  handle  the  ropes, 
made  him  acquainted  with  all  manner  of  tricks.  His  sea-life  was  so 
full  of  fun  and  frolic,  that  he  would  never  have  regretted  quitting  his 
forest  home  had  he  not  left  the  warm  sunshine  behind. 

The  captain  of  the  ship,  who  had  read  "  Voltaire,"  called  him  Topaz, 
after  Rustan's  good  valet,  because  he  had  a  bare,  yellow  face.  Before 
arriving  in  port,  Topaz  had  received  an  education  similar  to  that  of  his 


TOPAZ  THE  PORTRAIT-PAINTEP.  163 

fellow  countryman  on  the  barge,  Vert- Vert,  who  shocked  the  nuns  by 
his  manner.  That  of  Topaz  was  also  decidedly  briny,  as  was  quite 
natural  from  his  nautical  experience.  Once  in  France,  he  might  easily 
have  passed  for  a  second  Lazarelle  de  Tormes,  or  another  Gil  Bias,  if 
one  cared  to  name  all  the  masters  under  which  he  studied  up  to  the 
time  of  full-grown  Monkeyhood. 

Suffice  it  to  say,  that  as  a  youth  he  lodged  in  an  elegant  boudoir  in 
the  rue  Neuve-Saint-Georges,  where  he  was  the  delight  of  a  charming 
personage,  who  finished  his  education  by  treating  him  as  a  spoilt 
child.  He  led  an  easy  life,  and  was  happier  than  a  prince.  In  an 
unlucky  hour  he  bit  the  nose  of  a  respectable  old  dotard  called  the 
Count,  the  protector  of  his  fair  mistress.  This  liberty  so  incensed  the 
old  gentleman,  he  at  once  declared  that  the  lady  must  choose  between 
him  and  the  beast,  one  of  the  two  must  leave  the  house. 

The  tyranny  of  a  rich,  old  husband  prevailed,  and  Topaz  was  secretly 
sent  to  the  studio  of  a  young  artist,  to  whom  the  lady  had  been  sitting 
for  her  portrait. 

This  event,  simple  in  itself,  opened  up  for  him  a  new  career.  Seated 
on  a  wooden  form  in  place  of  a  silken  couch,  eating  crusts  of  stale 
bread  and  drinking  plain  water  instead  of  orange  syrup,  Topaz  was 
brought  to  well-doing  by  misery,  the  great  teacher  of  morality  and 
virtue,  when  it  does  not  sink  the  sufferer  deeper  into  the  slough  of 
debauchery  and  vice.  Having  nothing  better  to  do,  Topaz  reflected  on 
his  precarious,  dependent  position,  and  his  mind  was  filled  with  a  long- 
ing for  liberty,  labour,  and  glory.  He  felt  he  had  come  to  the  critical 
point  of  his  life,  when  it  was  necessary  for  him  to  choose  a  profession. 
No  career  seemed  to  offer  the  same  freedom  and  boundless  prospects  as 
that  followed  by  the  successful  artist.  This  became  a  settled  conviction 
in  his  mind,  and,  like  Pareja  the  slave  of  Velasquez,  he  set  himself  to 
picking  up  the  secrets  of  the  limner's  art,  and  might  be  seen  daily 
perched  on  the  top  of  the  easel,  watching  each  mixture  of  colour,  and 
each  stroke  of  the  brush.  As  soon  as  his  master's  back  was  turned,  he 
descended,  and  going  over  the  work  with  a  light  hand,  and  a  second 
coat  of  colours,  retired  one  or  two  paces  to  admire  the  effect.  During 
such  moments  he  might  be  heard  muttering  between  his  teeth,  the 
words  used  by  Corregio,  and  later  by  the  crowd  of  youthful  geniuses 
with  which  Paris  is  inundated  :  Ed  io  anche  son  pittore.  One  day,  when 
his  vanity  caused  him  to  forget  his  usual  prudence,  the  master  caught 
him  at  work.  He  had  entered  his  studio  elated  with  joy,  having 


1 64  PUBLIC  AND  PRIVATE  LIFE  OF  ANIMALS. 

received  a  commission  to  paint  a  cartoon  of  the  Deluge,  for  a  church  at 
Boulogne-sur-Mer,  where  it  rains  all  the  year  round.  Nothing  renders 
one  so  generous  as  self-satisfaction ;  instead,  therefore,  of  taking  the 
mahl-stick  and  beating  his  disciple,  "In  good  faith,"  he  said,  like  a 
second  Velasquez,  "  since  you  wish  to  be  an  artist,  I  give  you  your 
liberty,  and,  instead  of  my  servant,  I  make  you  my  pupil." 

Here  Topaz  became  an  historical  pilferer  ;  he  arranged  his  hair  like 
the  powdered  wig  of  a  country  priest,  caught  together  the  straggling 
hairs  of  his  beard  into  a  point,  put  on  a  high-peaked  hat,  dressed 
himself  in  a  tight-fitting  coat  over  which  the  ruffle  of  his  shirt  fell  in 
folds,  and,  in  short,  tried  to  look  as  much  as  possible  like  a  portrait  of 
Van  Dyck.  Thus  attired,  with  his  portfolio  under  his  arm,  and  colour- 
box  in  hand,  he  began  to  frequent  the  schools.  But,  alas !  like  so  many 
apprentice  artists,  who  are  men  with  all  their  faculties  fully  developed, 
Topaz  followed  the  empty  dreams  of  his  ambition,  rather  than  the- 
teaching  of  common  sense.  It  was  not  long  before  he  found  this  out. 
When  the  works  of  his  master  were  not  available,  he  had  to  begin  with. 
the  bare  canvas,  and  unaided  lay  in  outline,  form,  light,  shadow,  and 
colour ;  when,  in  fact,  instead  of  imitation,  originality  and  talent  were 
required,  then,  alas  !  good-bye  to  the  visions  of  Topaz.  It  was  no  good 
his  working,  perspiring,  worrying,  knocking  his  head,  tearing  his  beard. 
Pegasus,  always  restive,  refused  to  carry  him  to  the  Helicon  of  fortune 
and  renown.  In  plain  English,  he  did  nothing  worth  the  materials 
wasted  in  its  production :  masters  and  pupils  urged  him  to  choose  some 
other  means  of  making  a  living. 

"  Be  a  mason,  or  a  shoemaker ;  your  talent  lies  more  in  the  direction 
of  trade  ! "  It  was  in  truth  a  pity  that  Topaz — full-grown  ape  as  he 
was — should  have  been  the  slave  of  his  narrow  pride  and  vanity.  That 
he  should  have  aspired  to  fill  a  grand,  generous,  imposing,  humanlike 
roll.  I  have  often  heard  him  say  he  would  follow  the  example  of 
the  men  of  the  Middle  Ages,  study  medicine  among  the  Arabs ;  and 
then  return  to  teach  it  to  the  Christians.  His  foolish  ambition  was  to 
transmit,  from  cultured  men  to  apes,  the  knowledge  of  art,  and,  by 
idealising  his  fellows  in  portraiture,  to  place  them  on  the  level  of  the 
Lords  of  Creation.  His  chagrin  was  as  profound  as  his  project  had 
been  visionary.  Wounded  by  the  dreadful  fall  his  vanity  had  sustained,, 
sulky,  ashamed,  discontented  with  the  world  and  with  himself,  Topaz,, 
losing  his  sleep,  appetite,  and  vivacity,  fell  into  a  languishing  illness- 


TOPAZ  THE  PORTRAIT-PAINTER.  165 

which  threatened  his  life.    Happily  he  had  no  physician,  Nature  fought 
out  the  battle  for  herself,  and  won. 

About  this  time  Daguerre,  a  scenic  artist,  completed  the  discovery 
which  has  rendered  his  name  famous.  He  made  an  important  step  in 
science  by  fixing  the  photographic  image,  so  that  objects,  animate  and 
inanimate,  might  be  caught  on  a  silver  plate.  Thus  photography  became 
the  handmaid  of  science  and  art.  I  had  just  made  the  acquaintance  of 
a  musical  genius — human — to  whom  nature  had  refused  both  voice  and 
ear ;  he  sang  out  of  tune,  danced  out  of  time,  and  for  all  that,  was 
passionately  fond  of  music.  He  had  masters  for  the  piano,  flute,  hunt- 
ing-horn, and^  accordion.  He  tried  the  different  methods  of  Wilhem, 
Paston,  Cheve,  and  Jocotot.  None  of  them  answered,  he  could  neither 
produce  time  nor  harmony ;  what  did  he  do  in  order  to  satisfy  his 
taste  ?  He  bought  a  barrel-organ  and  took  his  money's  worth  out  of 
it,  by  turning  the  handle  night  and  day.  He  certainly  had  the  wrist 
of  a  musician. 

It  was  a  similar  expedient  which  brought  back  Topaz  to  life,  with  its 
hopes  of  fame,  fortune,  and  apostolic  insignia.  The  Jesuits  and  Turks 
say  the  end  justifies  the  means,  so,  acting  on  this  philosophic  saying, 
Topaz  adroitly  stole  a  purse  from  a  rich  financier  who  was  sleeping  in 
his  master's  studio,  while  the  latter  was  trying  to  paint  his  portrait. 
With  this  treasure  he  bought  his  barrel-organ,  a  photographic  camera, 
and  learning  how  to  use  it,  he  all  at  once  became  artist,  painter,  and 
man  of  science. 

This  talent  acquired,  added  to  a  brace  of  fine  names,  he  felt  already 
half  way  towards  reaching  the  coveted  goal.  To  realise  his  hopes,  he 
took  his  passage  at  Havre  in  a  ship  about  to  cross  the  Atlantic,  and 
after  a  prosperous  voyage,  again  set  foot  on  the  shore  where,  only  a  few 
years  before,  he  had  embarked  for  France.  What  a  change  had  come 
over  his  position.  From  Monkey-boy  he  had  become  Monkey-man. 
In  place  of  a  prisoner  of  war  he  had  become  free,  and  above  all,  from 
an  ignorant  brute — the  condition  in  which  Nature  sent  him  into  the 
world — he  had  developed  into  a  sort  of  civilised  ape.  His  heart  beat 
fast  as  he  landed  on  his  native  soil.  It  was  sweet  to  visit  familiar 
scenes,  after  so  long  an  absence.  Without  losing  so  much  time  as  I 
take  to  write,  he  started  off,  camera  on  back,  to  seek  the  grand  soli- 
tudes of  his  infancy,  where  he  hoped  to  become  the  pioneer  of  progress. 
In  his  secret  heart — he  owned  it  to  me — there  was  still  the  burning 
desire  for  fame.  He  hoped  to  create  a  sensation,  to  be  regarded  as 


1 66  PUBLIC  AND  PRIVATE  LIFE  OF  ANIMALS. 

more  than  a  common  beast ;  to  enjoy  the  victory  he  would  so  easily 
win,  over  the  natives  of  the  country,  by  his  title  of  Illustrious  Traveller,, 
backed  by  his  knowledge  and  his  wonderful  machine.  These  were  his 
true  sentiments,  but  he  cherished  the  delusion  that  he  was  impelled 
onwards  by  the  irresistible  force  which  urges  forward  the  predestined 
ones — the  leaders  of  mankind — to  play  their  part  in  the  world. 
Arrived  at  the  scene  of  his  birth,  without  even  looking  up  his  friends 
and  relatives,  Topaz  pitched  his  camp  in  a  vast  glade,  a  sort  of  public 
common  which  Nature  had  reserved  in  the  forest.  There,  aided  by  a 
black-faced  Sapajo  called  Ebony,  after  the  other  servant  of  Rustan, 
who  became  his  slave  after  the  manner  of  men,  who  find  in  colour  a 
sufficient  reason  for  drawing  the  line  which  separates  master  from 
slave,  Topaz  set  up  an  elegant  hut  of  branches  beneath  an  ample 
shade  of  banana  leaves,  and  above  his  door  he  placed  a  signboard,  bear- 
ing the  fable,  "Topaz,  painter  after  the  Parisian  fashion;"  and  on  the 
door  itself,  in  smaller  letters,  "  Entrance  to  the  Studio."  After  sending. 
a  number  of  magpies  to  announce  his  arrival,  to  all  the  country  round, 
he  opened  his  shop. 

In  order  to  place  his  services  within  the  reach  of  all— as  no  currency 
had  ever  yet  been  instituted — Topaz  adopted  the  ancient  custom  of 
receiving  payment  in  kind.  A  hundred  nuts,  a  bunch  of  bananas,  six 
cocoa-nuts,  and  twenty  sugar-canes,  was  the  price  of  a  portrait.  As  the 
inhabitants  of  the  Brazilian  forest  were  still  in  the  golden  age,  they 
knew  nothing  whatever  about  property,  heritage,  or  the  rights  of  mine 
and  thine.  They  knew  that  the  earth  and  its  fruits  were  free  to  all, 
and  that  a  good  living  might  be  picked  off  the  trees,  and  an  indifferent 
living  off  the  ground.  Topaz  had  many  difficulties  to  contend  against ; 
by  no  means  the  least  was  the  fact  that  no  one  is  great  in  his  own 
country,  and  especially  among  his  own  friends.  The  first  visits  he- 
received  were  from  monkeys,  a  quick  and  curious,  but  also  a  very 
spiteful,  race. 

Hardly  had  they  seen  the  camera  in  action  before  they  set  to  work 
to  make  spurious  imitations  of  the  dark  box.  Instead  of  admiring, 
honouring,  and  recompensing  their  brother  for  his  toil  in  bringing  thi& 
art- treasure  to  their  country,  they  strove  to  discover  his  secret,  and 
reap  the  profits  of  his  labour.  Here,  then,  was  our  artist  at  war  with 
counterfeiters.  Happily  it  was  not  a  simple  case  of  reprinting  an  Eng- 
lish book  in  Germany  or  America.  The  apes  might  puzzle  their  brains, 
and  toil  with  their  four  feet,  and  even  combine  one  with  the  other — 


TOPAZ  THE  PORTRAIT-PAINTER.  167 


amongst  them,  as  elsewhere,  one  can  easily  find  accomplices  to  carry 
out  a  bad  scheme, — all  they  could  do,  was  to  make  a  box  and  cover 
like  the  camera  and  focusing  cloth  of  Topaz  ;  but  they  had  neither  lens 
nor  chemicals.  After  many  trials  and  as  many  failures,  they  became 
furious,  and  planned  the  ruin  of  Topaz ;  thus  proving  the  truth  of  the 
saying,  "  One  must  look  for  enemies  among  one's  fellow-countrymen, 
friends,  and  relations  ;  even  in  one's  own  house  " — 

"  Arafta;  quien  te  arano  Otra  arana  como  yo." 

But  no  matter,  merit  makes  its  own  way  in  defiance  of  envy  and 
hatred,  and  finds  its  true  level  like  oil  that  rises  to  the  surface  of  water. 
It  so  happened  that  a  personage  of  importance,  an  animal  of  weight,  a 
Boar  in  fact,  passing  through  the  glade  and  seeing  the  signboard, 
paused  to  reflect.  It  seemed  to  this  Boar  that  one  need  not  of  necessity 
be  a  quack  or  charlatan,  because  one  comes  from  a  distance,  or  because 
one  offers  something  new  and  startling ;  also  that  a  wise,  moderate, 
impartial  spirit  always  takes  the  trouble  to  examine  things  before  con- 
demning them.  Another  and  much  more  private  reason  tempted  the 
thoughtful  Boar  to  test  the  stranger's  talent;  for  side  by  side  with 
the  great  actions  of  life  there  is  frequently  some  petty,  contemptible 
secret,  and  personal  motive  which,  as  it  were,  supplies  the  mainspring 
of  action.  This  little  motive  is  always  studiously  concealed,  even  from 
its  owner's  view,  like  the  mainspring  of  a  watch  in  its  shining  case. 
But  the  little  spring,  true  to  its  work,  marks  the  time  on  the  dial,  the 
hour,  minute,  and  second,  which  heralds  the  birth  of  all  that  is  noble, 
and  all  that  is  mean  in  life.  This  applies  with  kindred  force  to  the 
instinct  of  brutes,  and  aspirations  of  merr. 

Our  Boar  was  a  lineal  descendant  of  the  companion  of  Ulysses  who, 
touched  by  the  wand  of  Circe,  is  supposed  to  have  addressed  his 
captain  thus — 

"  How  am  I  changed  ?    My  beauty  as  a  boar  I'll  prove, 
How  knowest  thou,  one  form  is  worst,  another  best  ? 
Grace  and  good  breeding  are  in  my  form  express'd, 
At  least  it  has  been  said  so  by  those  who  know." 

He  was  a  trifle  foppish  and  very  much  in  love.  It  was  to  make  a 
gift  to  his  betrothed  he  wished  for  a  portrait. 

Entering  the  studio  he  paid  down  double  the  usual  price,  as  this 
Boar  was  the  most  liberal  member  of  his  government.  He  then  seated 
himself  solidly  down  in  his  appointed  place  where  his  steadiness  and 


1 68 


PUBLIC  AND  PRIVATE  LIFE  OF  ANIMALS. 


unconcern  rendered  him  a  capital  subject  for  the  camera.     Topaz  on 
his  part  exercised  all  his  skill  in  posing,  lighting,  and  photographing. 


The  portrait  was  a  perfect  gem,  his  lordship  was  delighted.     The  little 


TOPAZ  THE  PORTRAIT-PAINTER.  169 

image  seemed  to  reduce  his  bulk  in  every  way,  while  the  silvery  grey 
of  the  metallic  plate  replaced  with  advantage  the  sombre  monotony  of 
his  dark  coat.  It  was  a  most  agreeable  surprise,  and  fast  as  his  bulk 
and  dignity  would  permit  him,  he  hastened  to  present  the  picture  to  his 
idol.  The  loved  one  was  in  rapture,  and  by  a  peculiar  feminine  instinct 
she  first  suspended  the  miniature  round  her  neck,  then,  as  instinctively, 
called  together  her  relatives  and  friends  to  form  an  admiring  circle 
around  her  lover's  portrait.  Thanks  to  her  enthusiasm,  before  the  day 
was  over,  all  the  animal  inhabitants  for  miles  round  were  appraised  of 
the  marvellous  talent  of  Topaz,  who  soon  became  quite  the  rage.  His 
cabin  was  visited  at  all  hours  of  the  day,  the  camera  was  never  for  a 
moment  idle.  As  for  Sapajo  he  had  more  than  enough  to  do  in  prepar- 
ing the  plates  for  every  new  comer.  With  the  exception  of  the  apes 
there  *was  not  a  single  creature  in  earth,  air,  or  water,  who  had  not 
sat  for  a  likeness  to  the  famous  Topaz. 

One  of  his  chief  patrons  was  a  Royal  bird,  the  sovereign  of  a  winged 
principality,  who  arrived  surrounded  by  a  brilliant  staff  of  general 
officers  and  aide-de-camps.  The  artist  was  greatly  annoyed  by  the 
remarks  of  a  group  of  obsequious  courtiers  who  bent  over  the  desk 
alternately  praising  the  prince,  and  criticising  the  portraits.  The 
finished  work,  nevertheless,  afforded  satisfaction  to  the  potentate  who, 
proud  of  his  tufted  crown  and  brilliant  feathers,  gazed  fondly  down 
upon  his  image. 

His  conduct  was  quite  different  from  that  of  the  Boar.  Although  the 
king  was  accompanied  by  a  splendid  pea-hen,  his  wife  by  morganatic 
marriage,  he  himself  retained  the  portrait,  and,  like  Narcissus,  before 
the  fountain,  fell  in  love  with  his  own  image.  Happy  are  they  who 
love  themselves.  They  need  not  fear  coldness,  or  disdain.  They  can 
feel  no  grief  of  absence,  or  pangs  of  jealousy.  If  the  sayings  of  human 
philosophers  are  true,  love  is  only  a  form  of  self-esteem  which  leaves  its 
habitual  abode,  seeking  to  extend  its  dominion  over  the  passions  of 
another. 

To  return  to  Topaz,  he  touched  up  his  portraits  to  suit  the  taste 
and  vanity  of  his  customers.  In  this,  it  must  be  owned,  he  did  not 
always  succeed.  Some  of  his  clients  were  all  beak,  and  had  no 
focus  in  them;  others  could  not  sit  steady  for  a  second,  the  result 
was,  they  figured  on  the  plate  with  two  heads,  and  a  group  of  hands 
like  Vishnu,  the  heathen  god.  They  jerked  their  tails  at  some  fatal 
moment,  rendering  them  invisible  in  the  photograph.  Pelicans  thought 


170  PUBLIC  AND  PRIVATE  LIFE  OF  ANIMALS. 


their  beaks  too  long.  Cockatoos  complained  of  the  shortness  of 
theirs.  Goats  said  their  beards  had  been  tampered  with.  Boars  held 
that  their  eyes  were  too  piercing.  Squirrels  wanted  action.  Chame- 
leons changing  colour ;  while  the  donkey  thought  his  portrait  incom- 
plete without  the  sound  of  his  mellifluous  voice.  Most  comical 
of  all — the  owl,  who  had  shut  his  eyes  to  the  sun,  maintained  that 
he  was  represented  stone-blind,  thus  destroying  his  chief  attraction. 
In  the  laboratory  of  Topaz,  as  in  the  painter's  studio,  might  be  seen 
constantly  in  attendance  a  troop  of  young  lions,  the  sons  of  the  aris- 
tocracy, who  came  to  loiter  away  their  leisure.  They  prided  them- 
selves in  being  judges  of  art,  called  all  the  muscles  of  the  face  by  their 
anatomical  names ;  and  spoke  of  graceful  sweeps,  handling  of  the  brush, 
tooling,  modelling,  breadth  of  expression,  &c.,  &c.  Under  pretext  of 
enjoying  the  society  of  the  artist,  they  twitted  and  laughed  at  his 
clients.  To  the  crow,  if  he  showed  face  at  the  entrance  with  his 
glossy  black  coat,  and  gouty,  magisterial  step,  they  cried  in  chorus — 

"  Oh !  good  morning,  Mr.  Crow,  come  in,  nothing  shows  up  so  well 
as  a  good,  black  coat."  Then  they  gently  reminded  him  of  his  adven- 
ture with  the  fox  and  the  stolen  cheese. 

One  day  a  good  fellow,  a  duck,  left  his  reeds  and  swamps,  and  came 
with  much  ado  to  the  studio,  desirous  of  seeing  his  image  to  greater 
perfection  than  in  his  native  stream.  As  soon  as  he  appeared,  one  of 
the  clique  approached  and  taking  off  his  cap,  said — 

"Ah,  sir,  you  must  be  a  great  observer,  you  constantly  move  from 
side  to  side.  What  is  the  news  1 " 

No  one  escaped  their  sarcasm  •  many  were  offended,  many  more  lost 
their  temper,  and  as  for  Topaz,  he  lost  some  of  his  best  customers. 
But  he  really  could  not  afford  to  offend  the  lions,  as  they  belonged  to 
good  families,  and  were  careful  to  flatter  his  vanity ;  besides,  they  were 
by  no  means  bad  fellows,  when  in  their  generous  moods. 

In  spite  of  these  petty  troubles  and  annoyances — who  is  exempt 
from  them  in  this  world  1 — Topaz  filled  his  barns ;  and  his  fame  in- 
creased, keeping  pace  with  his  fortune.  He  perceived  that  the  time 
had  arrived  for  him  to  fill  a  larger  field.  His  own  industry  had 
secured  for  him  riches  and  honour,  but  the  dream  of  his  life  was  yet 
unfulfilled.  Why  should  he  not  embrace  the  golden  opportunity,  and 
become  a  great  teacher,  a  benefactor  of  his  kind  1  His  fame  had  reached 
the  ears  of  a  distant  potentate,  an  Elephant-sovereign  whose  territory 
was  somewhere — no  matter  where — it  had  never  found  its  way  into  any 


TOPAZ  &  SAPAJO, 

SlNGEOOKAP.'Ii:!^, 


i/2  PUBLIC  AND  PRIVATE  LIFE  OF  ANIMALS. 

map ;  no  civilised  being  had  ever  set  foot  on  his  soil.  This  Elephant 
sent  an  embassy  to  the  Parisian  painter,  charged  with  the  mission 
of  bringing  Topaz  to  his  court.  He  was  an  elephantine  Francis  I., 
calling  to  his  presence  another  Leonardo  da  Vinci.  His  brilliant  offers 
were  at  once  accepted.  This  is  how  absolute  monarchs  proceed  in 
their  caprices,  Topaz  was  promised,  besides  a  considerable  share  of  the 
native  produce,  the  title  of  Cacique,  and  the  ribbon  of  the  ivory  tooth. 
The  artist  set  off  mounted  on  a  horse,  and  followed  by  a  mule,  bearing 
his  faithful  Sapajo  and  his  precious  machine.  He  at  length  arrived 
without  accident  at  the  court  of  the  Sultan  Poussal.  Topaz  was  at 
1  once  introduced  to  his  Royal  Highness,  by  the  usual  Minister  of  Eites 
and  Ceremonies.  The  artist  prostrated  himself  before  the  potentate, 
who  gracefully  raised  him  with  the  point  of  his  proboscis,  and  allowed 
him  to  kiss  one  of  his  enormous  feet,  the  same  foot  which  later — 
but  I  must  not  anticipate  events.  His  Massive  Majesty  was  in  such  a 
ferment  of  impatient  curiosity,  that  before  taking  any  rest  or  refresh- 
ment, Topaz  was  requested  to  unpack  his  box  and  set  to  work  without 
delay.  He  accordingly  prepared  his  instrument,  heated  his  drugs,  and 
selected  his  finest  plate  for  the  royal  image.  The  plate  was  small,  but 
it  was  necessary  that  the  entire  elephant  should  figure  on  its  surface. 

"  Good,"  said  Topaz,  "  since  it  is  a  miniature  His  Majesty  requires,  I 
am  certain  he  will  be  delighted  with  the  result  (Topaz  recalled  his 
early  experience  with  the  Boar). 

He  placed  the  king  as  far  as  possible  from  the  camera  so  as  to 
diminish  his  image  and  fill  the  plate,  after  which  he  conducted  his 
operations  with  the  nicest  care.  All  the  courtiers  awaited  the  result 
with  anxiety  as  profound  as  if  it  were  the  casting  of  a  statue.  The  sun 
was  scorching.  After  a  few  minutes  the  artist  took  up  the  plate  lightly, 
and  triumphantly  presented  it  to  the  gaze  of  His  Majesty ;  hardly  had 
the  king  cast  his  eyes  upon  it,  when  he  burst  into  a  loud  laugh,  and 
without  knowing  why,  all  the  courtiers  joined  in  the  royal  hilarity.  It 
was  like  an  Olympian  scene. 

"What  is  this? "roared  the  Elephant  as  soon  as  he  could  speak. 
tl  That  is  the  portrait  of  a  rat,  and  you  presume  to  say  it  is  me  ?  You 
are  joking,  my  friend  "  (the  laughter  still  continued),  "  why,"  continued 
the  king  after  silence  had  been  restored,  his  tone  getting  gradually 
more  and  more  severe,  "  it  is  owing  to  my  great  size  and  strength  that 
I  have  been  chosen  king.  Were  I  to  exhibit  this  miserable  portrait  to 
my  subjects  they  would  imagine  I  was  anv  insect,  a  weak,  hardly  per- 


TOPAZ  THE  PORTRAIT-PAINTER. 


173 


ceptible,  creature,  only  fit  to  be  dethroned  and  crushed.     The  interest 
of  the  State,  sir,  forbids  my  taking  this  course,"  saying  which,  he 


hurled  the  plate  at  the  artist,  who  bowed  down  to  the  ground,  not  so 
much  from  humility  as  to  escape  a  shock  that  would  have  been  fatal  to 


174  PUBLIC  AND  PRIVATE  LIFE  OF  ANIMALS. 


him.  "  I  should  have  tested  the  truth  of  the  stories  so  freely  circulated 
about  you." 

The  king  and  his  ministers  were  becoming  furious. 

"  Ugh !  you  are  one  of  the  hawkers  of  inventions  and  secrets,  one  of 
those  innovators  we  have  heard  so  much  of,  who  prowl  about  seeking 
what  good  old  institution  they  can  devour ;  fellows  who  would  bring 
down  our  constitution,  and  heaven  itself  about  our  ears,  with  their 
infernal  machines.  Bah  !  " 

Here  the  mighty  king  stepped  over  the  still  prostrate  body  of  the 
artist,  and  approaching  the  innocent  machine — in  his  eyes  big  with 
the  darkest  plots  ever  brewed  in  the  heart  of  a  State — full  of  a  no  less 
legitimate  wrath  than  Don  Quixote,  when  breaking  the  marionettes 
of  Master  Peter,  he  raised  his  formidable  foot,  and  crushed  the 
camera  to  atoms. 

Adieu  fortune,  honour,  fame,  civilisation  !  Adieu  art !  adieu  artist ! 
At  the  sound  of  the  smashing  which  announced  his  doom,  Topaz 
sprang  to  his  feet,  and  starting  off  like  a  man,  ended  his  sorrows  in 
the  waters  of  the  Amazon. 

He  who  became  his  heir  and  confidant  was  Ebony,  the  poor  black 
Sapajo,  who  came  over  to  Europe  and  studied  at  one  of  the  universities, 
in  order  to  qualify  himself  to  write  this  history. 


JOURNEY  OF  AN   AFRICAN  J_(ioN  TO 

AND    WHAT    CAME    OF    JT. 


In  which  the  political  reasons  for  the  visit  of  Prince  Leo  shall  be 
fully  discussed. 

AT  the  foot  of  the  Atlas,  on  its  desert 
side,  there  reigns  an  old  Lion.  Much 
of  his  youth  was  spent  in  travelling. 
He  had  visited  the  Mountains  of  the 
Moon,  lived  in  Barbary,  Timbuctoo, 
in  the  land  of  the  Hottentots,  among 
the  republicans  of  Tangier,  and  among 
Troglodytes.  From  his  universal 
benevolence  he  acquired  the  name 
of  Cosmopolite,  or  friend  of  all  the 
world.  Once  on  the  throne,  it  be- 
came his  policy  to  justify  the  juris- 
prudence of  the  lions  ;  carrying  this 
beautiful  axiom  into  practice  —  "To 
take  is  to  learn."  He  passed  for 

one  of  the  most  erudite  monarchs  of  his  time,  and,  strange  as  it  may 
seem,  he  utterly  detested  letters  and  learning.  "They  muddle  still 
more  what  was  muddled  before."  This  was  a  saying  in  which  he  took 
peculiar  delight. 

It  was  all  very  well  ;  his  subjects,  nevertheless,  were  possessed  by 
an  insane  craving  for  progress  and  knowledge.  Claws  appeared 
menacing  him  on  all  points.  The  popular  displeasure  poisoned  even 
the  members  of  the  Cosmopolite's  family  who  began  to  murmur. 
They  complained  bitterly  of  his  habit  of  shutting  himself  up  with  a 
griffin,  and  counting  his  treasure  without  permitting  a  single  eye  to 
rest  upon  the  heap. 


176  PUBLIC  AND  PRIVATE  LIFE.  OF  ANIMALS. 


This  Lion  spoke  much,  but  acted  little.  Apes,  perched  on  trees, 
took  to  expounding  most  dangerous  political  and  social  doctrines ; 
tigers  and  leopards  demanded  a  fair  division  of  the  revenue,  as 
indeed,  in  most  commonwealths,  the  question  of  meat  and  bones 
divided  the  masses. 

On  various  occasions  the  old  Lion  had  to  resort  to  severe  measures 
to  quell  the  public  discontent.  He  employed  troops  of  savage  dogs 
and  hyenas  to  act  as  spies,  but  they  demanded  a  high  price  for  their 
service.  Too  old  to  fight,  the  Cosmopolite  was  desirous  of  ending  his 
days  peacefully — as  he  said,  in  Leonine  language — "  to  die  in  his  den.n 
Thus  his  difficulties  and  the  instability  of  his  throne  set  him  to 
scheming. 

When  the  young  princes  became  troublesome  he  stopped  their  • 
allowance  of  food,  wisely  reflecting  that  there  is  nothing  like  an  empty 
stomach  for  sharpening  instinct,  and  sending  the  young  lions  to  seek 
food  abroad.  At  last,  finding  Liona  in  a  state  of  hopeless  agitation, 
he  hit  upon  a  very  advanced  policy  for  an  animal  of  his  age,  viewed  by 
diplomatists  as  the  natural  development  of  the  tricks  which  rendered 
his  youth  famous. 

One  evening  while  surrounded  by  his  family,  it  is  recorded  that  the 
king  yawned  several  times.  In  the  annals  of  a  less  enlightened  State 
this  important  fact  might  have  been  overlooked.  He  then  uttered 
these  memorable  words  :  "  I  feel  age  and  infirmity  creeping  on  apace. 
I  am  weary  of  rolling  the  stone  called  royal  power.  My  mane  has 
grown  grey  in  the  service  of  my  country ;  I  have  spent  my  strength, 
my  genius,  and  my  fortune ;  and  what,  my  children,  is  the  result  ? 
Simply  nothing !  nothing,  save  discontent !  I  ought  to  lavish  bones 
and  honours  on  my  supporters.  Should  I  succeed  in  this,  it  would 
hardly  stifle  the  national  discontent.  Every  one  is  complaining,  I 
alone  am  satisfied ;  but,  alas  !  infirmity  gains  upon  me  so  surely,  that 
I  have  resolved  to  abdicate  in  favour  of  my  children.  You  are  young, 
you  have  energy  and  cunning ;  get  rid  of  the  leaders  of  popular  dis- 
content by  sending  them  to  victory,  to  death ! "  Here  the  venerable 
potentate,  recalling  his  youth,  growled  a  national  hymn,  and  ended  by 
urging  his  tender-hearted  sons  to  "  sharpen  their  claws,  and  bristle 
their  manes." 

"Father,"  said  the  heir-apparent,  "if  you  are  really  disposed  to 
yield  to  the  national  will,  I  will  own  to  you  that  the  lions  from  all 


JOVRNEY  OF  AN  AFRICAN  LION  TO  PARIS.  177 


M 


1 78  PUBLIC  AND  PRIVATE  LIFE  OF  ANIMALS, 

parts  of  Africa,  furious  at  the  far  niente  of  your  Majesty,  were  about  to 
take  up  arms  against  the  State." 

"Ah,  my  fine  fellow,"  thought  the  king,  "  you  are  attacked  by  the 
malady  of  royal  princes,  and  would  wish  for  nothing  better  than  my 
abdication.  I  shall  teach  you  a  lesson." 

"Prince,"  replied  the  Cosmopolite  in  a  roar,  "one  no  longer  reigns 
by  glory,  but  by  cunning.  I  will  convince  you  of  this  by  placing  you 
in  harness." 

As  soon  as  the  news  flashed  through  Africa,  it  created  a  great  sensa- 
tion. Never  before,  in  the  annals  of  history,  had  a  Lion  of  the  desert 
been  known  to  abdicate ;  some  had  been  dethroned  by  usurpers,  never 
had  a  king  of  beasts  voluntarily  left  the  throne.  The  event  was  there- 
fore viewed  with  some  apprehension,  as  it  had  no  precedent. 

Next  morning  at  daybreak,  the  Grand  Dog  Commander  of  the  Life 
Guards  appeared  in  his  gay  costume,  fully  armed,  and  around  him  the 
guard  ranged  in  battle-array.  The  king  occupied  the  throne,  sur- 
mounted by  the  royal  arms  representing  a  chimera  pursued  by  a 
poignard.  Then,  before  all  the  birds  composing  his  court,  the  great 
Griffin  brought  the  sceptre  and  crown  to  the  king  who  addressed  the 
young  lions  in  these  words,  first  giving  them  his  benediction — the 
only  thing  he  cared  to  bestow,  as  he  judiciously  guarded  his  treasures 
— "  Children,  I  yield  you  my  crown  for  a  few  days  ;  please  the  people, 
if  you  can,  but  do  not  fail  to  report  progress."  Then  turning  to  the 
court,  he  said  in  a  voice  of  thunder,  "  Obey  my  son,  he  has  my  instruc- 
tions ! " 

As  soon  as  the  heir  was  seated  on  the  throne,  he  was  supported  by 
a  band  of  young,  ardent,  ambitious  followers,  whose  pretentious 
doctrines  led  to  the  dismissal  of  the  ancient  counsellors  of  the  crown. 
Each  one  desired  to  sell  his  advice,  so  that  the  number  of  places  fell  far 
short  of  the  number  of  place-hunters.  Many  were  turned  back,  fired 
with  hatred  and  jealousy  which  they  poured  forth  to  the  masses 
in  eloquent  harangues,  stirring  up  the  mud  of  popular  corruption. 
Tumults  arose  ;  schemes  for  the  destruction  of  the  young  tyrant  were 
everywhere  secretly  discussed;  and  the  youthful  sovereign  was  privately 
informed  that  his  power  was  built  over  a  mine  of  political  petroleum 
and  social  nitro-glycerine.  Alarmed,  he  at  last  sought  the  counsel  of 
his  father  who,  cunning  old  rogue,  was  busy  stirring  up  the  slough  of 
popular  disorder  and  discontent.  The  people  clamoured  for  the  reinstate- 
ment of  the  venerable  Cosmopolite,  who,  yielding  to  the  pressure,  again 


JOURNEY  OF  AN  AFRICAN  LION  TO  PARIS.  179 


received  the  sceptre  from  the  hands  of  his  son  who  was  thus  com- 
pletely outwitted  by  his  crafty  parent.  The  worthy  king,  moved  no 
doubt  by  parental  love,  determined  to  rid  himself  of  his  dutiful  heir 
by  sending  him  on  a  foreign  mission.  If  men  have  their  Eastern 
question  to  settle,  the  lions  also  find  matters  no  less  pressing  to  draw 
their  attention  to  Europe,  where  their  names,  their  position,  and  habits 
of  conquest,  have  so  long  been  usurped.  Besides,  by  instituting  inter- 
national complications,  the  Cosmopolite  succeeded  in  engaging  the 
attention  of  his  people,  and  securing  the  tranquillity  of  the  State. 
Accordingly,  the  heir-apparent,  accompanied  by  a  Tiger  in  ordinary, 
was  sent  to  Paris  on  a  diplomatic  mission. 

We  subjoin  the  official  despatches  of  the  prince  and  his  secretary. 

FIRST  DESPATCH. 

"  SIRE, — As  soon  as  your  august  son  had  crossed  the  Atlas  Mountains, 
he  was  warmly  received  by  a  discharge  of  loaded  muskets  presented 
by  the  French  outposts.  We  at  once  understood  this  to  be  a  graceful 
mark  of  the  homage  due  to  rank.  The  government  officials  hastened 
to  secure  him,  and  even  placed  at  his  disposal  a  carriage  decked  with 
bars  of  solid  iron.  The  prince  was  constrained  to  admire  the  convey- 
ance as  one  of  the  triumphs  of  modern  civilisation.  We  were  fed  with 
viands  the  most  delicate,  and  so  far,  can  only  speak  in  praise  of  the  man- 
ners of  France.  My  master  and  your  slave  were  conveyed  on  board  ship 
and  taken  to  Paris,  where  we  were  lodged,  at  the  expense  of  the  state, 
in  a  delicious  abode  called  the  King's  Garden.  The  people  flocked  to 
see  us  in  such  crowds  that  our  staff  of  men  attendants  had  to  put  up 
strong  iron  rails  to  protect  our  royal  master  from  the  vulgar  throng. 
Our  arrival  was  most  fortunate,  as  we  found  an  unusually  large  gather- 
ing of  ambassadors  from  the  animals  of  all  nations  collected  in  the 
garden.  In  a  neighbouring  palace  I  perceived  Prince  Beanokoff,  a 
white  Bear  from  the  other  side  of  the  ocean,  who  had  visited  Paris  on 
behalf  of  his  government,  and  who  informed  me  that  we  were  the 
dupes  of  France,  that  the  lions  of  Paris  dreading  the  result  of  our 
embassy  had  shut  us  up ;  made  us  prisoners  ! 

"  *  How  can  we  find  these  so-called  lions  of  Paris/  I  inquired — Your 
Majesty  will  appreciate  the  action  I  have  taken,  in  order  to  uphold  your 
high  reputation  for  boldness  and  fair  dealing — This  Bear,  seeming  to 
divine  my  thoughts,  replied,  that  'Parisian  lions  dwell  in  regions 
where  asphalt  forms  the  pavement ;  where  the  choicest  veneers  and 


180  PUBLIC  AND  PRIVATE  LIFE  OF  ANIMALS. 

varnishes  of  civilisation  are  produced,  and  guarded  by  spirits  called  the 
municipal  authorities.  Go  straight  on,  and  when  you  reach  the  quarter 
St.  Georges,  you  will  find  them  abounding.' 

"'You  ought  to  congratulate  yourself,  Prince  Beanokoff,  to  find 
that  your  name  and  northern  characteristics  are  not  burlesqued  in  this 
capital.' 

"  *  Pardon  me,  the  Beanokoffs  are  no  more  exempt  from  the  evil  than 
are  the  lions  of  Leona.' 

" '  Dear  Prince  Beanokoff,  what  possible  advantage  can  man  derive 
from  imitating  our  attributes  1 ' 

"'  Ah  !  you  have  a  great  deal  to  learn.  Why,  look  around  at  the 
pictorial  representations  of  all  sorts  of  animals  that  figure  on  the 
scutcheons  of  the  nobility.  There  you  will  find  that  the  proudest 
families  claim  us  as  their  ancestors.' 

"  Wishing  to  make  myself  fully  acquainted  with  the  policy  of  the 
north,  I  said  to  him,  1 1  suppose,  my  dear  Prince,  you  have  already  re- 
presented the  matter  in  a  proper  light  to  your  government  1 ' 

"  '  The  Bears'  cabinet  is  above  dealing  with  such  drivelling  questions. 
They  are  more  suited  to  the  capacity  of  the  lower  animals,  to  Lions  ! ' 

"'  Do  you  pretend,  old  iceberg,  to  ignore  the  fact  that  my  master 
is  the  king  of  beasts  ? ' 

"  The  barbarian  remained  silent  and  looked  so  insulting  that  with 
one  bound  I  broke  the  bars  of  my  prison,  his  Highness,  your  son,  fol- 
lowed my  example,  and  I  was  about  to  avenge  the  insult  when  the 
Prince  judiciously  interfered,  saying,  '  We  must  for  the  present  avoid 
conflict  with  the  northern  powers,  our  mission  is  yet  unfulfilled.' 

"  As  this  occurred  during  the  night,  under  cover  of  darkness,  we 
made  our  way  into  the  Boulevards,  where  at  day-break  we  heard  the 
passing  workmen  exclaim,  '  Oh,  what  heads  !  would  any  one  believe 
they  were  not  real  animals  1 ' 3: 

SECOND  DESPATCH. 

Prince  Leo  in  Paris  during  the  carnival,  His  Highness* s  opinion  of 

what  he  saw. 

11  YOUR  son,  with  his  usual  discernment,  perceived  that  we  had  gained 
our  liberty  just  as  the  carnival  was  at  its  height,  and  thus  might 
come  and  go  without  danger.  We  felt  excessively  embarrassed,  not 
knowing  the  manners,  the  usages,  or  the  language  of  the  people.  Our 
anxiety  was  relieved  in  the  following  manner  : — 


JOURNEY  OF  AN  AFRICAN  LION  TO  PARIS.  181 

"  Interrupted  by  severe  cold." 

Prince  Leo's  first  letter  to  his  father,  the  King. 

"  MY  DEAR  AUGUST  FATHER, — When  I  left  the  palace,  you,  with  true 
paternal  affection,  bestowed  almost  nothing  on  me  save  your  blessing. 
Without  undervaluing  that  inestimable  gift,  I  am  bound  to  say  I 
can  raise  hardly  anything  on  it  among  the  miserable  money-lenders  of 
this  city.  My  dignity  must  be  maintained  on  something  more  closely 
resembling  coin  than  a  father's  benediction.  Paris  is  unlike  the  desert ; 
everything  here  is  bought  and  sold.  I  could  even  find  a  ready  market 
for  my  skin,  if  I  could  only  get  on  without  it.  To  eat  is  expensive, 
And  to  starve,  inconvenient. 

"Conducted  by  an  elegant  Dog,  we  made  our  way  along  the  Boule- 
vards where,  owing  to  our  likeness  to  men,  we  almost  escaped  notice. 
At  the  same  time  we  kept  a  sharp  look-out  for  the  Parisiens  they  call 
lions.  This  Dog,  who  knew  Paris  perfectly,  consented  to  become  our 
guide  and  interpreter.  We  were  thus  enabled  like  our  adversaries  to 
pass  for  men  in  the  disguise  of  brutes.  Had  you  known,  sire,  what  Paris 
really  is,  you  would  never  have  troubled  me  with  a  mission.  I  often 
fear  being  compelled  to  sacrifice  my  dignity  in  order  to  satisfy  you. 
On  reaching  the  Boulevard  des  Italiens  it  became  necessary  for  me  to 
follow  the  fashion  and  smoke  a  cigar,  which  caused  me  to  sneeze  so  vio- 
lently as  to  create  a  sensation.  A  popular  writer  passing,  remarked, 
"  These  young  fellows  are  well  up  in  their  parts  ! ' 

"  'The  question  is  about  to  be  settled,  I  said  to  my  Tiger.' 

" '  Rather,1  suggested  the  Dog,  '  let  it  remain  for  a  time  like  the 
Eastern  question — diplomatic,  vague,  doubtful,  open !  It  will  pay  better 
in  the  end.' 

"  This  Dog,  Sire,  is  constantly  affording  the  most  astounding  proofs 
of  his  intelligence.  It  will  therefore  hardly  surprise  you,  to  learn  that 
he  belongs  to  a  celebrated  administration,  situated  in  the  Rue  de 
Jerusalem,  devoted  to  the  guidance  of  strangers  in  France. 

"  He  led  us,  as  I  have  just  said,  to  the  Boulevard  des  Italiens,  where, 
as  indeed  all  over  this  large  town,  Nature's  share  is  very  small. 
There  are  trees,  but  such  trees.  Instead  of  pure  air,  smoke ;  instead 
of  rain,  dust ;  so  that  the  leaves  are  bronzed,  and  the  trees  are  mere 
sticks,  supporting  a  tuft  like  the  crown  of  leaves  on  the  brows  of  the 
bronze  heroes  of  France.  There  is  nothing  grand  in  Paris;  everything  is 
small,  and  the  cooking  is  execrable  !  I  entered  a  cafe*  for  breakfast,  and 


1 82  PUBLIC  AND  PRIVATE  LIFE  OF  ANIMALS. 

asked  for  a  horse,  but  the  waiter  seemed  so  astonished  that  we  profited 
by  his  surprise,  took  him  round  the  corner  and  devoured  him.     The 


Dog  cautioned  us  not  to  make  this  a  rule,  as  it  might  be  misunder- 


JOURNEY  OF  AN  AFRICAN  LION  TO  PARIS.  183 


stood.      He   nevertheless  accepted  a  bone   which   he   polished   with 
manifest  joy. 

"  Our  guide  rather  likes  talking  politics,  and  his  conversation  is  not 
without  its  fruit.  I  have  picked  up  wonderful  scraps  of  knowledge 
from  him.  On  my  return  to  Leona  no  tumult  shall  disturb  me,  as  I 
have  discovered  the  best  mode  of  governing  the  world.  The  chief  in 
Paris  does  not  rule ;  the  business  of  governing  and  collecting  the 
revenue  is  entrusted  to  a  body  of  senators.  Some  of  whom  are 
descended  from  sheep,  foxes,  and  donkeys,  but  the  title  of  statesmen 
has  made  them  lions.  When  any  important  question  has  to  be  settled, 
they  all  speak  in  turn,  without  paying  the  slightest  attention  to  the 
views  of  their  predecessors.  One  discusses  the  Eastern  question,  after 
some  member  who  has  exhausted  himself  on  the  subject  of  cod-fishing. 
When  they  have  all  done  talking,  it  is  not  unfrequently  discovered  that 
the  wise  ones  have  carried  through  some  important  measure,  while  the 
donkeys  have  been  braying  to  their  heart's  content. 

"  I  noticed  a  sculpture  in  the  palace,  wherein  you  were  represented 
struggling  with  the  revolutionary  serpent,  a  work  infinitely  superior 
to  any  of  the  statues  of  men  by  which  it  was  surrounded.  Many  of 
these  poor  devils  are  represented  with  long  dinner-napkins  over  their 
left  arms,  just  like  waiters  ;  others,  with  pots  on  their  heads.  Such  a 
contrast  proves  our  superiority  over  men,  whose  imagination  delights 
in  building  stones  one  upon  the  other,  and  cutting  on  their  surface  the 
finest  flowers  and  forms  of  Nature. 

"  My  Dog  informed  me  that  he  would  take  us  to  a  place  where  wo 
would  behold  lions,  lynxes,  panthers,  and  Paris  birds  of  night. 

"  '  Why/  I  inquired,  *  does  a  lynx  live  in  such  a  country1?' 

" '  The  lynx,'  replied  the  Dog,  '  is  accustomed  to  appropriating. 
He  plunges  into  American  funds;  he  hazards  the  most  daring  actions 
in  broad  day  and  darts  into  concealment.  His  cunning  consists  in 
always  having  his  mouth  open,  and  strangely  enough,  doves,  his  chief 
food,  are  drawn  into  it.' 

"  '  How  is  that  ? ' 

"  '  He  has  cleverly  written  some  word  on  his  tongue  which  attracts 
the  doves.' 

"  'What  is  the  word?' 

"'I  ought  rather  to  say  words.  First,  there  is  the  word  profit; 
when  that  has  gone  it  is  replaced  by  dividend ;  after  dividend  comes 
reserve,  or  interest.  The  doves  are  always  caught.' 


[84  PUBLIC  AND  PRIVATE  LIFE  OF  ANIMALS. 


"'Why  so?' 

"  '  Ah !  we  are  in  a  land  where  men  have  such  a  low  opinion  of 
each  other,  that  the  most  foolish  is  certain  to  find  another  more  foolish 
still — some  one  simple  enough  to  believe  that  a  slip  of  printed  paper 
is  a  mine  of  gold.  Human  governments  cannot  be  held  altogether 
blameless,  as  they  have  too  frequently  misled  the  people  by  their 
paper.  The  operation  is  called  "founding  public  credit."  When  it 
happens  that  the  credit  exceeds  the  public  credulity,  all  is  lost.' 

"  Sire,  credit  does  not  yet  exist  in  Africa.  We  might  occupy  the 
malcontents  there  by  getting  them  to  found  a  bank.  My  detache — I 
can  hardy  call  my  Dog  an  attache — took  me  to  a  public  cafe",  and,  by 
the  way,  explained  many  of  the  faults  and  frailties  of  beasts.  At  this 
famed  resort  there  were  a  number  of  the  animals  we  had  been  looking 
for.  Thus  the  question  is  being  cleared  up  little  by  little.  Just 
imagine,  my  dear  father,  a  Parisian  lion  is  a  young  man  who  wears 
patent-leather  boots  worth  about  two  pounds,  a  hat  of  equal  value,  as 
he  has  nothing  better  to  protect  in  his  head  than  in  his  feet ;  a  coat  of 
six  pounds,  a  waistcoat  of  two  pounds,  trousers,  three  pounds,  gloves, 
five  shillings,  tie,  one  pound;  add  to  these  rags  about  one  hundred 
pounds  for  jewellery  and  fine  linen,  and  you  obtain  a  total  of  about 
one  hundred  and  sixteen  pounds,  five  shillings.  This  sum  distributed 
as  above,  renders  a  man  so  proud  that  he  at  once  usurps  our  name. 
With  one  hundred  and  sixteen  pounds,  five  shillings,  and,  say,  nine- 
pence  for  pocket  money,  one  rises  far  above  the  common  herd  of 
animals  of  intellect  and  culture,  and  obtains  universal  admiration.  If 
one  can  only  lay  one's  claws  on  that  sum,  one  is  handsome,  brilliant. 
One  may  look  with  scorn  upon  the  unfortunate  poet,  orator,  man  of 
science,  whose  attire  is  humble  and  cheap.  You  may  indeed  be  what 
you  like;  if  you  do  not, wear  the  harness  of  the  authorised  maker, 
of  the  regulation  cut  and  cost,  you  are  certain  to  be  neglected.  A 
little  varnish  on  your  boots,  and  the  other  etceteras  make  up  the 
roaring  lion  of  society.  Alas,  Sire,  I  fear  the  same  varnish  and 
veneer  conceals  the  hollowness  of  human  vanity.  Tear  it  off,  and 
nothing  remains. 

"  '  My  lord  ! '  said  my  detache,  seeing  my  astonishment  on  beholding 
this  frippery,  '  it  is  not  every  one  who  knows  how  to  wear  these  fine 
things.  There  is  a  manner,  and  here,  in  this  country,  everything 
resolves  itself  into  a  question  of  manners/ 

"  I  sincerely  wish  I  had  stayed  at  home  ! " 


JOURNEY  OF  AN  AFRICAN  LION  TO  PARIS.  185 

THIRD    DESPATCH. 

"  SIRE, — At  the  ball,  Musard,  His  Highness,  came  face  to  face  with  a 
Parisian  lion.  Contrary  to  all  dramatic  rules,  instead  of  throwing 
himself  into  the  prince's  arms,  as  a  real  lion  would  have  done,  the 
Parisian  counterfeit  almost  fainted,  but  plucking  up  courage  he  had 
recourse  to  cunning,  and  by  this  talent,  common  to  all  low  animals, 
wriggled  out  of  the  situation. 

"  '  Sir,'  said  your  son,  '  how  is  it  you  take  our  name  ? ' 

"  '  Son  of  the  desert/  replied  the  child  of  Paris  in  a  humble  tone,  '  I 
have  the  honour  of  observing  that  you  call  yourselves  lions.  We  have 
adopted  your  name.' 

" '  But,'  said  His  Highness,  *  what  right  have  you,  any  more  than  a 
rat,  to  assume  our  name  1 ' 

"  '  The  truth  is  we  are  like  yourself,  flesh  eaters,  only  we  eat  our 
flesh  cooked,  you  eat  yours  raw.  Do  you  wear  rings  1 ' 

"  '  That  is  not  the  question.' 

" '  Well  then,'  continued  the  Parisian  fraud,  'let  us  reason,  and  clear 
the  matter  up.  Do  you  use  four  different  brushes ;  one  for  the  hair, 
another  for  the  hands,  a  third  for  the  nails,  and  a  fourth  for  the  skin  ? 
Have  you  nail  scissors,  moustache  scissors?  Seven  different  sorts  of 
perfume  1  Do  you  pay  a  man  so  much  a  month  for  trimming  your 
corns  1  Perhaps  you  do  not  know  what  a  chiropodist  is.  You  have  no 
corns,  and  yet  you  ask  me  why  we  are  called  lions.  I  will  tell  you 
why.  We  mount  horses,  write  romances,  exaggerate  the  fashions, 
strut  about,  and  are  the  best  fellows  in  the  world.  You  are  happy 
having  no  tailor's  bill  to  pay.' 

"  '  No/  said  the  prince  of  the  desert. 

"  '  Well  then,  what  is  there  in  common  between  us  ?  Do  you  know 
how  to  drive  a  tilbury  1 ' 

<{<No.' 

" '  Thus  you  see  the  strong  points  in  our  character  are  quite  different 
from  yours.  Do  you  play  whist,  or  frequent  the  Jockey  Club  ? ' 

"  •  No,'  said  the  prince. 

"  '  Well,  your  Highness,  with  us  whist  and  the  club  are  everything. 

"This  polite  nonsense  became  so  aggravating  that  His  Highness 
replied — 

"  '  Do  you,  sir,  deny  that  you  had  me  shut  up  1 ' 

"  '  I  had  not  the  power  to  shut  you  up.  It  was  the  government.  I 
am  not  the  government.' 


1 86  PUBLIC  AND  PRIVATE  LIFE  OF  ANIMALS. 


Why  did  the  government  impose  on  His  Highness  1 '  I  inquired. 


Exactly/  replied  the  Parisian.     'Why?    hem!    the  government 


JOURNEY  OF  AN  AFRICAN  LION  TO  PARIS.  187 

takes  no  notice  of  popular  whys  and  wherefores,  it  has  its  own  political 
reasons  for  action,  which  are  never  divulged/ 

"  On  hearing  this,  the  prince  was  so  utterly  astounded  that  he  fell 
on  all  fours.  The  Parisian  lion,  profiting  by  the  prince's  blind  rage, 
saluted  His  Highness,  turned  a  pirouette,  and  escaped. 

"  Your  august  son,  deeming  it  wise  to  leave  men  alone  to  enjoy  their 
illusions — the  gilded  toys,  the  pomp  and  tinsel,  the  borrowed  names 
and  nameless  follies  which  make  up  the  happiness  and  misery  of  their 
existence — prepared  to  quit  Paris.  A  few  days  later  one  read  in  the 
'  Semiphone '  of  Marseilles — 

"  '  Prince  Leo  passed  here  yesterday  en  route  for  Toulon,  where  he 
embarked  for  Africa.  The  news  of  his  father's  death  is  assigned  as 
the  reason  of  his  sudden  departure.' 

"  Tardy  justice  too  often  yields  its  tribute  to  greatness  after  death. 
This  trustworthy  organ  even  gave  a  picture  of  the  consternation  which 
your  Majesty's  untimely  end  spread  through  Leon  a.  *  The  agitation  is 
so  great,  that  a  general  rising  is  feared,  and  a  massacre  of  the  ancient 
enemies  of  the  crown.  It  is  asserted  that  the  Dog,  the  prince's  guide 
and  interpreter,  was  present  when  His  Highness  received  the  fatal  news, 
and  bestowed  the  following  advice,  so  characteristic  of  the  utter  demor- 
alisation of  the  dogs  of  Paris  :  Prince  Leo,  if  you  cannot  save  all,  save 
the  treasury/" 


ADVENTURE?  OF  A  BUTTERFLY, 

RELATED   BY  HER    GOVERNESS. 

Her  infancy. — Youth.— Sentimental  Journal.— From  Paris  to  Baden. — Her 
wanderings,  marriage,  and  death. 


EDITORIAL  PEEFACE. 

IN  studying  the  manners  and  customs  of  the 
insect  world,  naturalists  have  brought  to  light 
many  most  curious  and  interesting  facts.  In 
the  case  of  the  three  genders  of  Hymenoptera, 
each  gender  performs  its  allotted  functions  with 
a  degree  of  care,  tenderness,  and  precision  that 
mimics  the  complex  organisation  of  human 
society. 

The  neuter  Hymenoptera  are  the  working 
members  of  the  insect  world,  and  enjoy  a  greater  share  of  life  than 
either  the  males  or  females  of  their  kind,  outliving,  indeed,  two  or  three 
successive  generations.  In  His  infinite  wisdom,  God  has  denied  them 
the  power  of  reproduction,  and  at  the  same  time  entrusted  to  them  the 
care  and  rearing  of  the  young.  Nothing  in  nature  is  without  design. 
The  neuter  Hymenoptera  bring  up  the  orphan  larvae  of  their  relatives 
who  invariably  die  after  giving  birth  to  their  young.  It  falls  to  the 
lot  of  the  neuters  to  provide  food  for  the  larvae  who,  thus  deprived  of 
the  care  of  their  parents,  find  in  the  neuter  Hymenoptera  the  nurses 
who,  with  the  most  tender  solicitude,  take  the  place  of  sisters  of  mercy 
among  men.  Our  correspondents'  account  of  the  life  of  a  Butterfly 
will  embody  some  interesting  facts  relative  to  the  habits  of  this 
beautiful  family. 

EDITORS. 


ADVENTURES  OF  A  BUTTERFLY.  189 

"  DEAR  SIRS, — Had  I  been  requested  to  write  down  my  personal 
experiences  I  should  have  declined  the  task,  as  it  seems  to  me  impos- 
sible to  write  an  honest  history  of  one's  own  career.  The  following 
biographical  sketch  is  the  fruit  of  moments  stolen  from  the  active 
hours  of  a  busy  life.  I  stand  alone  in  the  world,  and  shall  never  know 
the  happiness  of  being  either  a  father  or  a  mother ;  I  belong  to  the 
great  family  of  neuter  Hymenoptera.  Feeling  the  misery  of  a  solitary 
life,  you  will  not  be  surprised  to  learn  that  I  consented  to  become  a 
tutor.  An  aristocratic  Butterfly  who  lived  near  Paris  in  the  woods  of 
Belle  Vue,  had  once  saved  my  life,  and  as  a  token  of  gratitude  I  con- 
sented to  become  the  foster-parent  of  the  child  he  would  never  live  to 
see.  The  egg  was  carefully  deposited  in  the  calyx  of  a  flower,  and 
hatched  by  a  ray  of  sunlight  the  day  after  the  parent's  death.  It 
pained  me  to  see  the  youth  begin  life  by  an  act  of  ingratitude.  Ho 
left  the  flower  that  had  found  a  place  for  him  in  her  heart  without 
saying  a  word.  His  early  education  was  most  trying  to  one's  temper ; 
he  was  as  capricious  as  the  wind,  and  of  unheard-of  thoughtlessness. 
But  thoughtless  characters  are  ignorant  of  the  harm  they  do,  and 
as  a  rule,  are  not  unpopular.  I  loved  the  little  orphan,  although  he 
had  all  the  faults  of  a  poor  caterpillar.  My  instruction,  advice,  and 
guidance  seemed  to  be  thrown  away  upon  him.  Full  of  vivacity  and 
light-heartedness,  he  embraced  every  opportunity  of  following  the  bent 
of  his  own  reckless  will.  If  I  left  him  for  an  instant,  on  my  return  I 
never  found  him  in  the  same  place.  He  would  venture  to  climb 
almost  inaccessible  plants,  and  risk  his  neck  along  the  edges  of 
leaves  that  hung  over  a  yawning  precipice.  I  remember  being  called 
away  on  important  business,  at  a  time  when  his  sixteen  legs  would 
hardly  carry  him.  On  my  return,  I  in  vain  searched  for  my  charge, 
until  at  last  I  found  him  up  a  tree  whose  topmost  branch  he  had 
reached,  at  the  peril  of  his  life. 

"  He  was  scarcely  out  of  his  babyhood  when  his  vivacity  suddenly 
left  him.  It  seemed  to  me  that  my  counsels  were  beginning  to  bear 
fruit,  but  I  was  soon  undeceived.  What  I  had  mistaken  for  signs  of 
repentance  was  the  chrysalis  malady,  common  to  the  young.  He 
remained  from  fifteen  to  twenty  days  without  moving  a  muscle  ;  appa- 
rently asleep. 

"  *  What  do  you  feel  like  ? "  I  asked  him  from  time  to  time.  '  What 
is  the  matter,  my  poor  child  ? ' 

"  *  Nothing,'  he  replied  in  a  husky  voice.     '  Nothing,  my  good  tutor. 


190  PUBLIC  AND  PRIVATE  LIFE  OF  ANIMALS. 


I  cannot  move  about,  and  yet  feel  sensations  of  life  and  motion  all 
over  me.  I  am  weary,  weary,  do  not  talk  to  me  !  Keep  quiet,  do  not 
stir  ! ' 

"He  became  quite  unrecognisable;  his  body  swollen  and  of  a 
yellow  hue,  like  a  faded  leaf.  This  latent  life  so  much  resembled 
death,  that  I  despaired  of  saving  him ;  when  one  day,  warmed  by  a 
splendid  sun,  he  gradually  awoke.  Never  was  transformation  more 
startling,  more  complete ;  he  had  lost  his  worm-like  mould,  and  rose 
from  his  shell  like  a  disembodied  spirit,  glorious  in  prismatic  hues 
Four  azure  wings,  as  if  by  enchantment,  had  been  placed  upon  his 
shoulders,  feelers  curved  gracefully  above  his  head,  while  six  dainty 
legs  peeped  out  beneath  his  velvet  coat.  His  eyes,  bright  as  gems, 
sparkling  with  the  boundless  prospect  his  new  attributes  had  brought 
with  them,  he  shook  his  wings  and  rose  lightly  in  the  air. 

"  I  followed  him  as  fast  as  my  worn  wings  would  carry  me.  Never 
was  a  course  more  erratic.  Never  flight  more  impetuous.  It  seemed 
as  though  the  earth  belonged  to  him,  and  all  its  flowers  were  designed 
for  his  pleasure  ;  as  though  all  created  things,  edged  with  the  roseate 
light  of  his  new  being,  were  made  to  minister  to  his  joy.  He  seemed 
to  have  risen  from  the  grave  to  flit  through  a  paradise  all  his  own. 

"  Soon  weary  of  caprice,  fields  and  flowers  lost  their  enchanting  lustre, 
and  ennui  crept  on  apace.  Against  this  evil,  riches,  health,  the  joys  of 
liberty,  all  the  pleasures  of  nature,  were  powerless.  He  alighted,  choos- 
ing the  plant  of  Homer  and  Plato,  the  daffodil,  only  to  leave  it  for  the 
lichen  of  bare  rocks,  where,  folding  his  wings  he  remained  the  prey  of 
discontent  and  satiety. 

"  More  than  once,  dreading  his  desperate  mood,  I  hid  away  the  dark 
poisonous  leaves  of  the  belladona  and  hemlock. 

"  One  evening  he  came  in  a  state^of  great  agitation,  and  confided  to 
me  that  he  had  met  in  his  wanderings  a  most  amiable  Butterfly  who 
had  just  arrived  from  distant  lands,  bringing  tidings  of  the  wonders 
of  the  world. 

"  A  craving  for  exploration  had  seized  upon  him.  '  I  must  either 
die  or  travel/  said  he. 

"  '  Do  not  die,'  I  replied  ;  '  self-inflicted  death  is  only  fit  for  the  sneak 
and  coward.  Let  us  travel ! ' 

"  My  words  filled  him  with  new  life ;  he  spread  his  wings,  and  we 
started  for  Baden. 

"  It  is  impossible  to  describe  his  joy  at  our  departure,  his  delighted 


ADVENTURES  OF  A  BUTTERFLY.  191 

ecstasy.  He  was  full  of  young  life,  its  hopes  and  aspirations.  As  for 
myself,  grief  had  enfeebled  my  wings,  so  that  I  found  it  hard  to  follow 
him.  We  only  stopped  at  Chateau  Thierry,  the  birthplace  of  La  Fon- 
taine, not  far  from  the  vaunted  borders  of  the  Marne. 

"  Shall  I  tell  you  the  true  cause  of  our  stoppage  ]  He  caught  sight 
of  a  humble  Violet  in  the  corner  of  a  wood. 

" '  Who  could  help  loving  you,  little  Violet/  he  exclaimed,  "  with 
your  face  so  sweet  and  dewy?  If  you  only  knew  how  charmingly 
honest  you  look,  decked  with  your  border  of  little  green  leaves,  you 
would  then  understand  my  love.  Be  kind,  consent  to  become  my  dear 
sister.  See  how  calm  I  remain  when  near  you !  How  I  love  these 
sheltering  trees,  the  peaceful  freshness,  and  the  sacred  perfume  you 
breathe  around.  How  modestly  you  hide  your  beauty  in  this  delicious 
shade.  Love  me  !  love  me  in  return,  and  make  life  happy  !  " 

"  '  Be  a  poor  flower  like  me,'  replied  the  Violet,  '  and  I  will  love  you  ; 
and  when  winter  comes,  when  the  snow  covers  the  ground,  and  the 
wind  whistles  through  the  leafless  trees,  I  will  hide  you  under  my 
leaves,  and  together  we  will  forget  the  cold  that  spreads  death  around. 
Fold  your  wings,  and  promise  to  be  always  faithful.' 

"  'Always  ? '  he  repeated,  '  that  is  too  long.  Besides,  there  is  no 
winter  ! '  and  he  flew  away. 

"  'Don't  grieve/  I  said  to  the  Violet,  'you  have  escaped  misery.' 

"  Our  way  lay  over  wheat-fields,  forests,  towns,  villages,  and  the  sad 
plain  of  Champagne.  Not  far  from  Metz,  attracted  by  a  sweet  smell, 
he  exclaimed,  '  The  gardens  watered  by  these  clear  springs  must  indeed 
be  beautiful ! '  Here  he  winged  his  way  to  a  single  Rose,  growing  on 
the  banks  of  the  Moselle. 

"  '  Beautiful  Hose,'  he  murmured,  *  never  lias  the  sun  shone  on  a 
flower  more  lovely.  I  have  travelled  far,  suffer  me  to  rest  on  one  of 
your  leaves.' 

"  *  Stay  ! '  replied  the  Rose,  '  presumptuous  flatterer,  do  not  approach 
me!' 

"  Nothing  daunted  he  touched  a  branch  and  retreated,  exclaiming, 
*  You  have  pricked  me  ! '  and  he  showed  his  wounded  wing.  I  no 
longer  love  wild  roses,  they  are  cruel,  devoid  of  heart.  Let  us  fly,  to 
be  happy  is  to  be  unfaithful ! ' 

"  Not  far  from  the  Rose  he  saw  a  Lily  whose  form  charmed  him. 
While  its  stateliness,  purity,  and  cold,  aristocratic  bearing,  filled  him 
with  mingled  fear  and  admiration. 


192 


PUBLIC  AND  PRIVATE  LIFE  OF  ANIMALS. 


" '  I  do  not  dare  to  love  you,'  he  said  in  his  most  respectful  voice, 
1  for  I  am  nothing  more  than  a  Butterfly,  and  I  fear  even  to  disturb  the 
air  you  have  glorified  by  your  presence.' 

"  '  Be  spotless,  pure,  and  unchangeable,'  replied  the  Lily,  '  and  I  will 
befriend  you.' 

"  l  Never  change !     In  this  world  few  Butterflies  are  sincere.'     He 


really  could  not  promise.  A  puff  of  wind  carried  him  away  to  the 
silvery  banks  of  the  Rhine.  I  soon  joined  him. 

"'Follow  me,'  he  was  addressing  a  Daisy,  'follow  me,  and  I  will 
love  you  for  your  simplicity.  Let  us  cross  the  Rhine  and  go  to  Baden. 
You  will  enjoy  brilliant  concerts,  routs,  dances,  gay  palaces,  and  the 
great  mountains  you  can  descry  on  the  distant  horizon.  Leave  these 
tame  banks  and  shine  as  the  queen  of  flowers  in  the  smiling  country 
yonder.' 

"  *  No,'  replied  the  virtuous  Daisy.  '  No  !  I  love  my  native  land,  my 
sisters  around  me,  and  the  mother  earth  that  nourishes  me.  Here  I 
must  stay,  must  live  and  die.  Do  not  tempt  me  to  do  wrong.  The 
reason  why  Daisies  are  loved,  is  because  they  are  the  emblems  of  con- 
stancy. I  cannot  follow  you,  but  you  can  remain  with  me,  far  from 
the  noise  of  the  world  of  which  you  speak.  I  will  love  you.  Believe 
me,  happiness  is  within  the  reach  of  all  who  are  true  and  contented. 


ADVENTURES  OF  A  BUTTERFLY.  193 

What  flower  will  love  you  better  than  I 1  Here,  come,  count  my 
petals.  Do  not  forget  a  single  one,  and  you  will  find  that  I  love  you, 
and  that  I  am  not  loved  in  return.' 

"  He  hesitated  an  instant,  and  the  eye  of  the  tender  flower  dilated 
•with  hope.  '  What  are  my  wings  made  for  1 '  he  said,  and  left  the 
ground. 

"  *  I  shall  die,'  said  the  Daisy,  bending  low. 


"  '  Nay/  I  replied,  *  thy  grief  will  pass  away.' 

"  A  tiny  Forget-me-not  whispered, '  Daisy  queen  !  you  have  our  love, 
our  admiration !  Why  break  our  harmony  ?  Why  cast  your  pure 
In-art  away  on  a  worthless  Butterfly,  whose  flight  and  fancy  follow 
•every  breath  of  wind,  who  is  as  swift  to  change  his  loves  as  evil 
tidings  to  fly  abroad.' 

'•  Following  my  young  scapegrace,  I  observed  him  dart  down  towards 
a  stream  as  if  fired  by  a  sudden  resolution  to  end  his  days.  '  Good 
heavens  ! '  I  cried,  '  what  has  he  done  1 '  as,  descending  to  the  water,  I 
lx-lu-1,1  nothing  but  the  floating  leaves  on  its  surface.  Shall  I  own  it  ? 
my  blood  froze  with  terror  and  apprehension.  Fool  that  I  was,  he  was 
enjoying  the  joke  all  the  while  through  a  tuft  of  reeds.  'Come, 
my  tutor,  come.  I  have  found  her  at  last.'  He  was  dancing  like 
a  lunatic  round  a  bulrush.  My  temper  was  sorely  tried ;  I  nearly 
swore  on  observing  this  fresh  token  of  folly. 


i94  PUBLIC  AND  PRIVATE  LIFE  OF  ANIMALS. 


"  The  young  rogue  continued:  'She  is  no  flower  this  time ;  a  real 


treasure,  a  daughter  of  the  air,  winged  like  an  angel,  and  jewelled  like 
a  queen.' 

"  I  then  perceived  at  the  top  of  the  reed,  softly  swaying  in  the  wind,, 
a  graceful  Dragon-fly  of  many  colours. 

"  '  Allow  me  to  present  my  betrothed,'  continued  my  pupil. 

"  '  What  ?     Already  ! '  I  exclaimed. 

"  '  Yes/  said  the  Fly.  '  Our  shadows  have  grown,  and  these  flowers- 
have  closed,  since  we  became  acquainted.  I  seem  to  have  known  and 
loved  my  charmer  all  my  days.' 

"  Soon  setting  out  for  Baden,  they  gratified  every  caprice,  arranged 
their  wedding,  and  issued  formal  invitations  to  the  gayest  of  the  gay 
among  the  insect  aristocracy.  It  was  a  civil  marriage,  advertised  with 
all  the  pomp  of  a  royal  union,  and  attended  by  the  cream  of  the  native 
and  foreign  nobility.  Certain  clauses  in  the  marriage  code,  touching 
the  obedience  and  constancy  of  the  wedded  pair,  gave  offence  to  the 
lady,  as  she  deemed  them  superfluous ;  she,  however,  modestly  kept 
her  views  on  these  subjects  to  herself.  The  ceremony  was  so  imposing 
that  I  employed  a  spider  to  make  a  sketch  of  the  scene. 

"The   wedding  was  followed   by  rejoicing,  feasting,   and  gaiety. 


ADVENTURES  OF  A  BUTTERFLY. 


195 


i96 


PUBLIC  AND  PRIVATE  LIFE  OF  ANIMALS. 


Pleasure  parties  thronged  the  ruts  in  the  fields,  making  their  way  onward 
to  congratulate  the  happy  pair.  The  Snail  drove  over  in  her  carriage, 
while  the  Hare  mounted  his  thorough-bred  Tortoise,  and  the  Ant  his 
Centiped,  to  pay  their  formal  visits.  Even  the  rustics  held  high  holi- 
day, and  thronged  to  witness  the  marvellous  performances  of  a  troop 
of  acrobats  on  the  verge  of  a  corn-field.  Here,  a  Grasshopper  displayed 
wonderful  dexterity  in  dancing  with  and  without  a  pole  on  a  horizon- 
tal stem  of  grass  ;  and  a  showman  cricket  was  blowing  a  blast  of  music 
through  the  corolla  of  a  tricoloured  convolvulus. 

"  A  ball  had  been  arranged,  for  which  great  preparations  were  made. 


A  large  Glow-worm,  aided  by  a  staff  of  Fire-flies,  was  charged  with 
the  illumination.  The  Glow-worm  produced  the  central  light,  while  his 
assistants,  the  Fire-flies,  stood  around  the  open  cups  of  flowers  with 
such  marvellous  effect,  that  every  one  thought  a  fairy  had  passed  that 
way.  The  golden  stems  of  astragalus  were  of  such  dazzling  brightness 
that  even  the  Butterflies  could  hardly  bear  its  light ;  while  many 
nocturnal  insects  retired,  without  being  able  to  congratulate  the 
married  couple.  Some  remained  from  sheer  politeness,  veiling  their 
eyes  with  their  velvet  wings. 

"  When  the  bride  appeared,  the  whole  assembly  burst  into  transports 
of  admiration.  She  was  certainly  a  georgeously-dressed,  charming- 
looking  creature.  She  never  rested  for  a  second,  but  kept  up  with  the 


ADVENTURES  OF  A  BUTTERFLY. 


197 


198  PUBLIC  AND  PRIVATE  LIFE  OF  ANIMALS. 

music  and  dance.  '  Waltzing  much  too  frequently/  said  an  old  neuter, 
1  with  a  magnificent  cousin  in  the  Guards/  Her  husband,  my  pupil, 
was  the  heart  and  soul  of  the  party ;  he  was  everywhere,  dancing  and 
conversing. 

"  The  orchestra,  led  by  a  humble  Bee,  a  clever  pupil  of  Da  Costa, 
performed  admirably  a  number  of  new  waltzes  and  field-flower  dances. 
Towards  midnight  the  Signora  Cavelleta,  dressed  in  rather  a  trans- 
parent costume,  danced  a  satarelle,  which  was  only  moderately  success- 
ful. The  ball  was  then  interrupted  by  a  grand  vocal  and  instrumental 
concert,  in  which  figured  a  number  of  celebrated  artists  who  had 
followed  the  fine  weather  to  Baden.  A  young  Cricket  played  a 
solo  on  the  violin,  which  Paganini  had  also  executed  just  before  his 
death. 

"  A  Grasshopper,  who  had  created  a  furore,  at  Milan,  the  classic  land 
of  grasshoppers,  sang  a  song  of  her  own  composition  with  great  effect. 
Others  followed,  rendering  some  of  the*  finest  music  of  modern  times 
in  a  manner  unsurpassed.  At  the  close  of  the  concert  a  supper,  ingeni- 
ously prepared  from  the  juice  of  jessamine,  myrtle,  and  orange  blossom, 
was  served  in  pretty  little  blue  and  rose-coloured  bells.  This  delicious 
repast  was  prepared  by  a  Bee,  whose  secret  even  the  most  renowned 
makers  of  bon-bons  would  have  been  glad  to  know. 

"  At  one  o'clock  dancing  recommenced  with  renewed  vigour.  The 
fete  was  at  its  height.  Half  an  hour  later  strange  rumours  arose.  It 
was  whispered  that  the  husband,  in  a  transport  of  rage  and  jealousy, 
was  searching  everywhere  for  his  missing  wife.  Some  friends,  with 
the  intention,  no  doubt,  of  reassuring  him,  said  she  had  danced 
constantly  with  her  handsome,  dashing  cousin,  and  was  seen  to  elope 
with  him. 

"  '  Ah  !  the  false  one  ! '  cried  the  poor,  despairing  husband ;  '  I  will 
be  revenged ! ' 

"  I  pitied  his  despair,  and  coaxed  him  away  from  the  scene,  at  once 
so  gay  and  so  tragic.  '  You  have  sown,'  I  said,  '  and  you  have  reaped. 
It  is  now  not  a  question  of  cursing  life,  but  of  bearing  it.' 

"  We  left  Baden  that  night,  and,  contrary  to  my  expectation,  my 
pupil  never  recovered  the  humiliating  shock  his  own  folly  had  brought 
upon  him,  by  '  marrying  in  haste,  and  repenting  at  leisure.'  True  to 
his  weak  nature,  easily  attracted  by  glitter  and  flare,  he  at  last  flung 
himself  into  a  lamp  at  Strasbourg,  and  perished  with  a  comforting 


ADVENTURES  OF  A  BUTTERFLY. 


199 


belief    in   the   doctrine   of    transmigration   of    Buddha    and    Pytha- 
goras. 

The  fate  of  the  runaway  Dragon-fly  is  a  warning  to  weak  wives. 
She  and  her  admirer  were  caught  in  the  net  of  a  princely  bird,  and 
pinned  down  on  a  board,  in  a  museum,  two  days  after  their  elope- 
ment. 


THE  MISFORTUNES  OF  A  CROCODILE. 


You  see  in  me,  gentlemen,  a  very  unfor- 
tunate animal.  Under  the  circumstances, 
I  think  I  am  justified  in  maintaining  that 
no  reptile  has  the  same  reason  to  com- 
plain. Judge  for  yourselves  !  What  do- 
I  ask  ?  Simply  to  be  left  alone  to  eat, 
digest,  sleep,  and  warm  my  thick  coat 
in  the  sun.  If  other  animals  are  foolish 
enough  to  display  their  restless  activity, 
and  wear  themselves  out,  in  order  to  earn 
a  miserable  living,  that  is  their  business, 
not  mine.  I  await  my  prey  quietly,  in  a 
manner  becoming  the  descendant  of  the- 

illustrious  Crocodiles  worshipped  by  the  Egyptians.  Faithful  to  my 
aristocratic  origin,  I  detest  anything  more  intellectual  than  a  good 
dinner,  and  the  full  enjoyment  of  the  senses.  Why  will  men  pester 
me  with  their  schemes  for  the  extension  of  my  mud  bank  by  warfare, 
or  harass  me  with  their  brand  new  measures  for  pacific  financial  reform  ? 
My  privacy  is  perpetually  invaded ;  I  have  hardly  an  hour  I  can  call 
my  own. 

One  bright  summer  morning  my  history  began,  like  the  first  part  of 
a  novel,  all  perfume  and  roses,  steeped  in  the  social  tranquillity  which 
precedes  the  storms  and  heart-breakings  of  closing  volumes. 

The  primary  event  of  this  important  history  was  the  breaking  of  my 
egg,  which  led  to  my  taking  bearings.  Daylight  for  the  first  time- 
fell  upon  my  young  life,  casting  its  shadow  across  the  desert  covered 
with  sphinxes  and  pyramids.  The  great  Nile  lay  unexplored  at  my 
feet — a  glorious  expanse  of  turbid  water,  edged  with  corn-fields,  and 
swollen  by  the  tears  of  slaves.  On  its  bosom  reposed  the  lovely  Isle  of 
Raondah,  with  its  alleys  of  sycamore  and  orange  groves.  Without 


THE  MISFORTUNES  OF  A  CROCODILE.  201 


pausing — as  a  historian  ought  to  do — to  admire  this  sublime  spectacle, 
I  advanced  towards  the  stream,  and  commenced  my  gastronomic  career 
by  swallowing  a  passing  fish.  There  still  remained  on  the  sand  about 
a  score  of  eggs  similar  to  the  one  I  had  left.  Have  they  been  dissected 
by  Otters  and  Ichneumons  ?  or  have  they  burst  into  life  ?  No  matter ; 
free  Crocodiles  have  no  family  ties. 

For  ten  years  I  lived  by  fishing  and  capturing  stray  birds  and  un- 
happy dogs  that  mistook  me  for  a  mud  bank.  Arrived  at  this  mature 
age,  it  occurred  to  me  that  philosophic  reflection  would  aid  digestion. 
I  therefore  reflected  after  a  fashion  common  in  the  world.  Nature  has 
loaded  me  with  her  rarest  gifts,  charm  of  face,  elegance  of  figure,  and 
great  capacity  of  stomach.  Let  me  think  how  I  may  wisely  use  her 
gifts. 

I  belong  to  horizontal  life,  and  must  abandon  myself  to  indolence.  I 
have  four  rows  of  sharp  teeth,  I  shall  therefore  eat  others  and  endeavour 
to  escape  being  eaten  myself.  I  shall  cultivate  the  art  of  enjoyment,  and 
adopt  the  morals  of  good  living — whatever  they  may  be — and  shun 
marriage.  Why  should  I  saddle  myself  with  a  wife  to  share  my  prey, 
when  I  myself  can  eat  the  whole,  or  with  a  pack  of  ungrateful  chil- 
dren ? 

Such  were  my  thoughts  about  the  future,  and  all  the  Saurians  in 
the  great  river  could  not  shake  my  resolution  to  remain  single.  Only 
once  I  thought  I  was  seriously  in  love  with  a  young  Crocodile  of  about 
sixty  summers.  Her  laughing  mouth  seemed  as  wide  as  the  entrance 
to  the  pyramid  of  Cheops,  her  little,  green  eyes  were  shaded  by  eyelids, 
yellow  as  the  waters  of  the  Nile  in  flood.  Her  skin,  hard  and  rough, 
was  adorned  with  green  spots.  Yet  I  resisted  her  blandishments  and 
severed  the  ties  that  menaced  our  lives. 

For  many  years  I  contented  myself  with  the  flesh  of  quadrupeds  and 
fish  of  the  stream,  never  daring  to  follow  the  example  of  my  ancestors 
and  declare  war  on  man.  One  day,  however,  the  Sheriff  of  Rahmanich 
passing  near  my  haunt,  I  drew  him  under  the  water  before  his  atten- 
dants had  time  to  turn  their  heads.  He  proved  as  tender  a  morsel  as 
any  dignitary  ought  to  be  who  is  paid  for  doing  nothing. 

How  many  high  and  mighty  men  there  are  who  could  thus  be  spared 
for  my  supper  !  From  this  time  forth  I  became  a  man-eater ;  men  are 
tender,  and  besides  they  are  our  natural  foes.  It  was  not  long  before 
I  acquired  amongst  my  fellows  a  high  reputation  for  audacity  and 


202  PUBLIC  AND  PRIVATE  LIFE  OF  ANIMALS. 


sybaritism.     I  became  the  king  of  their  feasts,  and  presided  at  many 
banquets. 


THE  MISFORTUNES  OF  A  CROCODILE.  203 

The  banks  of  the  Nile  often  witnessed  our  convivial  meetings,  and 
echoed  with  the  sound  of  our  songs. 

About  the  beginning  of  the  moon  of  Baby-el-Alonel,  the  year  of 
Higera  1213,  otherwise  3d  Thermidor,  year  VII.,  otherwise  2ist  July 
1 798,  I  happened  to  be  reposing  on  a  bed  of  reeds,  and  was  awakened 
by  a  strange  noise.  Clouds  of  dust  rose  round  the  village  of  Embabeh. 
Two  great  armies  were  advancing  to  close  in  battle.  On  the  one  side 
the  Arabs,  the  Mamelouks  with  breastplates  of  gold,  the  Keayas  and 
the  Beys  mounted  on  superb  horses.  The  other  was  a  foreign  army, 
made  up  of  soldiers  wearing  black  felt  hats  with  red  feathers,  blue  or 
rather  dirty  white  uniforms  and  trousers.  The  commander  was  a  slight, 
short,  thin  man.  I  pitied  the  human  beings  who  were  led  by  such  a 
weak  creature,  hardly  a  mouthful  for  a  Crocodile. 

The  little  man  uttered  a  few  words,  at  the  same  time  pointing  to  the 
pyramids,  after  which  the  cannonade  began,  the  guns  belched  forth  their 
fire  and  shot,  while  shells  whistled  and  exploded  among  the  Crocodiles, 
laying  some  of  them  low.  That  was  a  fatal  day,  the  turning  point  in 
my  history.  The  invaders  carried  off  a  gigantic  column,  placed  it  on 
board  ship  and  transported  it  to  one  of  the  finest  cities  in  Europe. 
The  inscriptions  on  this  stone  have  never  been  deciphered ;  I  am  told 
the  meaning  runs  thus  : — 

"  Worship  good  living, 
Let  your  belly  be  your  god. 
Selfishness  is  a  virtue 
When  practised  voluntarily. 
You  must  never  take  the  obelisk 
By  force  or  by  consent, 
Two  millions  must  you  pay 
If  you  take  it  unjustly." 

Some  of  the  new  comers  took  it  into  their  heads  to  hunt  and  shoot 
our  noble  selves.  I  was  captured,  but  not  killed,  and  became  a  prisoner 
at  the  disposal  of  man,  and  was  conveyed  to  El-Kahiret — which  the 
infidels  call  Cairo — and  there  provisionally  lodged  at  the  consulate. 
The  tumult  of  war  was  as  nothing  compared  to  the  clamour  of  dispu- 
tants discussing  the  Eastern  question  in  this  house.  Fighting  was 
carried  on  with  the  sharpest  weapon  known — the  human  tongue. 
They  squabbled  from  dusky  dewy  morn  till  eve.  It  was  truly  unfor- 
tunate that  no  free  Crocodile  was  there  to  end  the  disputes  by  devour- 
ing Consul,  swords,  tongues  and  all.  Had  I  been  free,  this  useful  office 


204  PUBLIC  AND  PRIVATE  LIFE  OF  ANIMALS. 

should  have  been  performed  and  that  speedily.  My  sailor  captor, 
judging  me  unfit  for  a  museum,  handed  me  over  to  an  adventurer. 
On  our  arrival  at  Havre — oh  misery !  my  jaws  were  paralysed  with 
cold.  I  was  placed  in  a  huge  tub  and  exposed  to  the  vulgar  gaze  of 
the  crowd.  The  showman  stood  at  the  door  of  his  hut  bawling  out 
this  terrible  fiction,  "  Walk  in,  ladies  and  gentlemen,  now  is  the  time 
when  this  interesting  reptile  is  about  to  feed  ! " 

He  pronounced  these  words  in  a  tone  so  delusive  that  I  instinctively 
opened  my  jaws,  to  receive,  what  ?  nothing  ! 

The  traitor  fearing  to  put  my  strength  on  an  equality  with  my 
ferocity  subjected  me  to  systematic  starvation. 

An  old  money-lender,  who  had  advanced  a  sum  to  my  master,  deli- 
vered me  from  this  slavery  by  seizing  the  menagerie  of  which  I  was  the 
chief  ornament — all  the  other  animals  were  stuffed.  Two  days  later 
he  handed  me  over,  instead  of  money,  to  a  man  he  was  piously  engaged 
in  ruining.  I  was  placed  in  a  large  pond  near  the  sea,  where  my 
new  owner  possessed  a  villa.  I  gathered  from  the  servants— internal 
enemies,  as  yet  happily  unknown  amongst  the  Saurians — that  my 
master  was  a  young  man  of  forty-five  years,  a  distinguished  gastrono- 
mist, the  possessor  of  twenty-five  thousand  pounds  a  year — indulgent 
tradesmen  allowing  him  to  spend  two  hundred  thousand  pounds. 

He  had  remained  a  bachelor,  wisely  viewing  marriage  as  the  closing 
scene  in  the  comedy  of  life.  The  only  thing  remarkable  about  him 
was  his  stomach,  of  which  he  was  very  proud,  "  I  have  made  it  what  it 
is,"  he  would  say,  "  it  cost  me  a  good  bit,  but  I  have  not  lost  my 
money.  Nature  intended  me  to  be  thin  and  dry,  but,  thanks  to  an 
intelligent  regimen,  in  spite  of  Nature  I  have  acquired  this  honourable 
embonpoint.  The  cheapest  dinner  of  this  truly  great  man,  cost  him  at 
least  fifty  francs.  He  used  to  say  with  great  feeling,  "  only  fools  die  of 
hunger." 

One  summer  evening,  after  dinner,  my  master  visited  me  with  a 
numerous  company  of  guests,  some  of  whom  found  my  countenance 
most  prepossessing;  others  thought  me  hideous,  and  all  agreed  that  I 
bore  a  strong  resemblance  to  their  host. 

"Why  do  you  delight  in  rearing  such  a  monster?"  said  an  old  tooth- 
less man,  who  in  truth,  himself  merited  this  insulting  appellation. 
"Were  I  in  your  place,  I  should  have  him  killed  and  sent  to  the 
kitchen.  I  have  been  told  that  crocodile's  flesh  is  very  much  sought 
after  by  certain  African  and  Cochin  Chinese  tribes." 


THE  MISFORTUNES  OF  A  CROCODILE.  205 

"Upon  my  honour,"  said  my  patron,  "your  idea  is  original;  not- 
withstanding his  resemblance  to  me,  I  will  sacrifice  him  to  your  palates. 
Cook,  to-morrow  you  will  make  a  crocodile  pie  with  Egyptian  onions." 
All  the  parasites  clapped  their  hands,  the  cook  bowed,  and  I  disap- 
peared to  the  bottom  of  my  pond.  After  a  terrible  night,  the  first 
rays  of  the  morning  sun  revealed  the  cook  sharpening  an  enormous 
knife.  He  approached  me,  followed  by  two  assistants  who  unlocked 
my  chain  and  beat  me  with  a  stick  about  the  head.  I  was  lost,  had  not 
a  sudden  noise  attracted  the  attention  of  my  executioners.  I  beheld  my 
master  struggling  with  four  unknown  bull-dog-looking  men,  who  had 
just  arrived  from  Paris.  One  of  them  held  a  watch  in  his  hand.  Five 
o'clock  had  just  struck,  when  I  heard  the  words  "  En  route  for  Clichy." 
A  carriage  appeared,  and  without  pausing  to  make  further  notes,  profit- 
ing by  the  excitement,  I  left  my  pond  and  gained  the  sea. 

After  many  perils,  I  at  last  reached  my  native  shore,  where  I  found 
civilisation  and  M.  de  Lesseps  were  turning  everything  upside  down. 
Should  this  rage  continue  for  steam  traffic,  cutting  canals,  negotiating 
loans,  and  generally  playing  the  mischief  with  all  our  ancient  institu- 
tions, what  will  become  of  Crocodiles  1  Who  knows,  before  long  the 
Kile  may  be  found  to  flow  back  to  its  source — wherever  that  may  be- 
am! the  world  itself,  propelled  by  steam,  may  make  its  way  to  the 
sun,  or  take  its  enchanted  inhabitants  on  a  tour  through  space. 

1'rogress  is  most  annoying  to 'a  conservative  Crocodile  ! 


^•^.,         » 


THE  FUNERAL  ORATION   OF  A 


THE  sun,  having  done 
his  day's  work  of  shining 
right  well,  suddenly  and 
wearily  retired  to  rest. 
The  last  notes  of  the 
birds'  song  of  praise 
were  still  lingering  in 
the  echoes  of  the  woods, 
and  the  earth,  wrap- 
ping herself  in  her  dark 
mantle,  was  preparing 
for  repose.  The  death's- 
head  Moth  giving  the 
signal  of  departure,  the 
little  cortege  set  out  on 
the  march  for  the  purple 
heath.  Field  -  spiders, 
whose  work  consisted  in 
clearing  the  road,  preced- 
ed the  corpse  which  was 
surrounded  by  beetles,  in 
black,  carrying  the  bier  of  mulberry  leaf.  These  were  followed  by 
tail-bearing  mutes,  next  came  the  Ants,  and  lastly  the  Grubs.  When 
at  some  little  distance  from  the  sacred  mulberry  tree,  around  which 
were  assembled  the  relatives  of  the  deceased,  the  Cardinal  Pyrochre 
gave  orders  that  the  hymn  of  the  dead  should  be  intoned  by  the*choir 
of  Scarabs,  and  afterwards  sung  by  Bees  and  Crickets. 

At  intervals,  when  the  harmony  ceased,  one  could  hear  deep  sighs 


THE  FUNERAL  ORATION  OF  A  SILKWORM. 


207 


and  sobs,  bearing  evidence  of  the  universal  grief  caused  by  the  loss  of 
the  humble  insect,  whose  remains  were  being  borne  to  their  last 
resting-place.  The  procession  at  length  reached  the  cemetery  on  the 


If 


heath,  where  the  sextons  were  still  bending  over  the  new  dug  grave. 
Sighs  and  sobs  were  hushed  in  that  profound  silence  which  betokens 
the  deepest  sorrow.  But  when  the  bearers  had  laid  the  body  in  the 


208 


PUBLIC  AND  PRIVATE  LIFE  OF  ANIMALS. 


tomb,  and  the  yawning  earth  closed  over  it,  the  air  was  rent  with  a 
piteous  wail,  for  the  mourners  had  seen  the  last  of  a  true  friend. 

An  insect,  robed  in  black,  advanced  to  the  grave-mound,  saying : 


"  Why  this  outburst  of  bitter  grief?  Why  weep  for  one  who  has  been 
delivered  from  the  trial  and  burden  of  life.  Yet,"  he  added,  "weep 
on,  for  he  who  lies  there  can  feel  no  pang  of  sorrow;  no  tears,  no 


THE  FUNERAL  ORATION  OF  A  SILKWORM.  209 

loving  tones,  can  wake  a  responsive  throb  in  his  cold  breast,  nor  bring 
liim  back  to  his  earthly  home  !  "  They  would  not  be  comforted. 

*'  Brothers,"  said  another,  advancing  in  turn,  "it  is  at  the  birth  of 
.a  silkworm  one  ought  rather  to  mourn.  ,  His  life  was  one  of  ceaseless 
toil.  By  leaving  this  earth  he  has  left  his  misery  behind  \  neither  joy 
nor  sorrow  can  follow  him  beyond  the  grave.  I  tell  you  simple  truth ; 
this  is  no  time  for  hypocrisy.  Why  should  worms  mourn  this  event  ? 
Death  has  no  terrors  for  us !  "  They  still  wept. 

One  of  the  mourners  said  with  faltering  voice :  "  Brother,  we  know 
that  there  is  a  beginning,  and  alas  !  an  end,  to  everything,  and  that  all 
must  die  ;  we  know,  too,  the  sorrows  of  our  life,  the  labour  of  gather- 
ing our  food  leaf  by  leaf;  we  know  the  toil  that  transforms  a  mul- 
berry leaf  into  a  shining  silken  robe ;  we  know  the  dangers  that  beset 
our  lives ;  and  the  doom  of  the  silken  shroud  that  at  last  imprisons  and 
blights  the  dreams  of  our  young  lives ;  we  know  that  to  die  is  to  cease 
to  toil,  death  being  the  end  of  the  silken  thread  which  began  with  our 
birth — we  know  all  this ;  but,  oh,  we  know,  too,  that  we  loved  our 
brother,  and  who  can  console  us  for  so  great  a  loss  ? " 

"  We  loved  him  !  we  loved  him  ! "  cried  the  mourners. 

"  I  wept  like  you,"  said  the  Cardinal,  "  for  our  brother  who  is  gone ; 
yet,  when  I  meet  death  face  to  face  in  the  silkworm,  my  heart  expands. 
'Go  to  the  other  world,'  I  say,  the  better  world;  there  the  gates 
will  open  for  the  good,  both  high  and  low ;  there  you  will  rejoin  your 
lost  loved  ones  in  a  land  where  flowers  breathe  an  eternal  fragrance ; 
where  the  mulberries  bordering  the  glassy  streams  are  ever  green. 
Ah,  brothers,  tell  them  to  wait  for  us  there,  for  to  die  is  to  be  born 
to  a  better  life  !  " 

With  these  words  the  weeping  ceased.  The  moon  broke  out, 
silvering  the  heath  with  a  chaste  glory. 

The  good  insect  added  :  "  Go  back  to  your  homes ;  our  brother  has 
no  longer  need  of  you." 

Kucli  of  the  mourners,  after  placing  a  flower  on  the  grave,  left  the 
.scene,  fueling  comforted. 


To    THE    DEADER. 

DEAR  KEADER, 

We  are  now  halfway  on  our  journey,  and  feel  confident 
that  you  will  place  confidence  in  us  as  your  guides  during  the  second 
part  of  our  expedition.  Be  assured  of  this,  while  we  lead  you  into  the 
unknown  regions  of  the  animal  kingdom,  we  are  prepared  to  shield 
you  from  the  dangers  of  contact  with  its  uncivilised  or  purely  savage 
races.  At  the  same  time,  your  well-known  craving  for  all  that  is- 
marvellous  has  been  fully  considered,  and  shall  be  duly  gratified. 

Our  correspondents  have  sharpened  their  wits  and  pens,  and  are 
impatient  to  lay  open  a  perfect  mine  of  treasure. 

Good  evening,  dear  friends.  Go  home,  bar  your  doors  well !  One 
never  knows  what  may  happen.  The  calmest  nights  are  frequently 
the  harbingers  of  storms.  Sleep  with  one  eye  open.  At  any  rate,  sleep 
well.  Pleasant  dreams ! 

THE  MONKEY,  PAROQUET,  AND  COCK, 
Editors  in  Chief. 


PART  3ECOND- 


JARDIN  DES  PLANTES,  PARIS. 

IN  preparing  the  second  part  of  our  work  for  press,  we  were  about 
to  discharge  the  sacred  duty  of  congratulating  ourselves  upon  having 
laid  the  solid  foundation  of  the  animal  constitution,  when  our  pen  was 
arrested  by  rumours  of  sedition  and  conspiracy.  Dark  clouds  have 
been  observed  on  the  horizon ;  but  our  astronomers — creatures  of  true 
instinct — by  their  forewarnings,  have  hitherto  enabled  us  to  weather 
the  worst  storms,  while  at  the  same  time,  they  have  greatly  increased 
our  store  of  knowledge  by  clearing  up  some  obscure  points  of  sidero- 
logy.  They  have  further  invented  the  seasons,  and  assured  us  that 
days  and  nights  shall  succeed  each  other  as  long  as  the  observatory  is 
properly  endowed.  They  have  decreed  that  the  sun  shall  be  free  to 
all  who  pay  the  constitutional  rates  for  the  maintenance  of  paupers, 
of  police,  and  of  the  state. 

The  wide  experience  and  sagacity  of  these  creatures  have  led  them 
to  investigate  various  natural  phenomena,  which  they  do  not  under- 
stand, nevertheless,  with  the  innate  modesty  of  votaries  of  science,  they 
have  compelled  nature  to  bend  to  their  conclusions  and  have  accord- 
ingly arrived  at  certain  incontestable  facts. 

The  following  communication  has  just  been  received  from  the  obser- 
vatory : 

"  We  have  discovered  the  true  cause  of  alarm.  Unless  we  are  mis- 
taken, the  clouds  that  obscure  the  political  horizon  consist  of  swarms 
of  flies  and  other  winged  insects — whose  political  opinions  change  with 
the  wind — all  of  them  armed  to  the  teeth  and  tips  of  their  tails. 

"  This  rising  is  the  result  of  social  decomposition  among  the  masses, 
and  a  breeze  of  false  doctrine  which  threatens  the  glorious  fabric  of  the 
animal  constitution,  founded  by  our  first  assembly. 

"Conspiracy  broods  over  the  land.  For  all  that,  as  the  swarms 
have  never  been  known  to  pursue  any  definite  policy,  we  hope  to  be 


214 


PUBLIC  AND  PRIVATE  LIFE  OF  ANIMALS. 


enabled  to  contradict  the  news,  which  to-day  we  announce  as  certain. 
— In  any  case  :  Caveant  consules  /  do  not  slumber." 

No,  we  will  not  sleep ;  and  as  we  have  great  faith  in  the  wisdom  of 


our  brothers.     Since  anarchy  watches,  we  shall  watch  with  and  against 
her. 

As  a  first  measure,  to  maintain  order,  we  propose  to  issue  a  daily 
bulletin  of  events,  which  will,  at  any  rate,  supply  material  for  gossip  to 
the  various  members  of  our  league. 

EXTRACT  FROM  THE  "DAILY  MONITEUR"  OF  THE  ANIMALS. 
Our  worst  fears  are  confirmed.  Grave  disorders  of  a  seditious 
character  have  broken  out.  A  band  of  rioters,  numbering  about  three 
thousand,  have  detached  themselves  from  the  army,  with  the  avowed 
intention  of  exciting  the  animal  kingdom  to  revolt.  Sword  in  hand, 
or  sting  in  tail,  they  clamour  for  what  they  are  pleased  to  term  "  general 
reform."  This  band  is  led  by  a  notorious  Wasp,  famed  for  his  poison  and 


DAILY  BULLETIN  OF  EVENTS. 


215 


the  purity  of  his  principles.  In  vain  have  a  number  of  venerable  flies 
striven  to  calm  the  popular  tumult.  Their  words  have  been  misunder- 
stood. Happen  what  may,  we  are  prepared  to  tide  over  the  storm, 
and  to  defeat  these  odious  attempts  to  uproot  the  constitution. 
"Troubles,"  said  Montesquieu,  "build  up  empires." 


a 


The  captain  of  our  winged  guards,  Lord  Humble  Bee,  has  not 
succeeded  in  dispersing  the  rioters ;  he  thought — and  rightly — that  it 
would  be  advisable  to  withdraw  before  shedding  blood,  contenting 
himself  by  cutting  off  the  food 
supplies  and  hemming  in  the  in- 
surgents, who,  after  a  few  hours, 
would  thus  be  compelled  to  capi- 
tulate or  starve.  The  humanity 
of  this  noble  leader  is  worthy  of 
all  praise. 

The   insurgents   are  throwing 
up  barricades  of  grass  and  dried 
twigs,   and   are   prepared,   it  is 
said,   to  sustain   a  regular  siege.     The  field  they  occupy  is  at  least 
eighteen  inches  wide  by  ten  inches  long. 

The  most  contradictory  rumours  are  spread  abroad.  Some  of  the 
rebels  accuse  us  of  indirectly  stirring  up  revolt.  "  Tyrants  of  the  deepest 
dye,"  said  one,  "maintain  their  power  by  setting  their  subjects  one 
-against  the  other,  so  that  in  their  petty  strife  they  may  overlook  the 
defects  of  government."  What  can  we  say  of  such  absurdities.  If  the 


216  PUBLIC  AND  PRIVATE  LIFE  OF  ANIMALS. 

rulers  of  states  had  nothing  to  fear  save  the  unity  of  the  people,  they 
would  sleep  on  downy  pillows  ! 

It  is  reported  that  the  disaffected  flies  are  everywhere  rousing  the 


nation.  One  of  them  the  Clarion,  a  clever  musician,  has  composed 
a  war  march  entitled,  "  The  Eoll  Call  of  the  Flies."  We  can  now  hear 
the  tones  of  this  impious  music  floating  over  Paris.  It  is  wafted  from 
a  thousand  instruments  at  the  Pantheon,  the  Val  de  Grace,  the  tour 
Saint  Jacques  la  Boucherie.  the  Salpitriere,  the  P£re  Lachaise,  where- 
the  emissaries  have  been  stationed  by  the  leaders  of  the  movement. 

A  number  of  prisoners  have  been  arrested,  but  they  refuse  to  disclose 
their  principles. 

"  We   are  of  snow-white  purity !  "  say  they.     "  Why  should  such 

innocents   be  arrested?     Take  our 
heads  !  >' 

"  Your  heads !  what  can  we 
do  with  a  fly's  head  ?  Never- 
theless we  will  consider  this  pro- 
potion." 

The  pretensions  of  the  rebels  are 
now  known,  "Hie  common  good" 
serves  them  as  a  pretext  for  per- 
sonal ambition  and  private  hatred. 

EXAMINING  THE  FLY'S  HEAD.  1 

.Revolution    means    nothing    more 

than  the  relinquishing  of  our  posts  to  others  who  are  not  so  well 
qualified  to  fill  them.  If  we  refuse  to  yield  to  their  demands — as  we 
intend  to  do — we  are  doomed,  so  they  say.  Our  posts  and  emolu- 


DAILY  BULLETIN  OF  EVENTS.  217 

ments  will  be  sold  with  our  lives !  We  owe  this  as  a  tribute  to  the 
animal  kingdom. 

For  what  are  we  reproached  ]  Have  we  been  unjust,  or  partial  ? 
Have  we  not  followed  our  programme  and  printed  all  contributions 
without  preference,  or  selection,  blindly  as  every  just  editor  ought  to 
do  1  We  are  over  head  and  ears  in  paper,  knee  deep  in  ink  ;  we  have 
burned  the  midnight  oil,  endeavoured  to  please  everybody,  entertained 
foes  in  the  guise  of  friends,  and  in  short,  succeeded  so  well  in  our 
various  duties  as  to  secure  the  envy  and  hatred  of  an  ungrateful  rebel. 

The  chief  of  the  insurrection  is  a  Scarab !  the  Scarab  Hercules ! 
This  is  no  doubt  a  very  fine  name  for  a  leader.  Have  you  made  the 


acquaintance  of  this  Scarab?  We  for  our  part  might  scorn  the  attacks 
of  such  a  grovelling  fellow,  did  we  not  know  that  the  bite  or  sting  of 
the  meanest  of  God's  creatures  is  always  most  venomous  and  de- 
structive. 

\\  «•  have  therefore  pleasure  unalloyed  in  issuing  the  following 
orders  : — 

A  price  is  placed  upon  the  head  of  the  Scarab  Hercules  ;  a  suit- 
able reward  will  be  paid  to  any  one  who  will  bring  him  dead  or  alive 
(we  would  prefer  him  dead). 

zd.  Measures  will  be  immediately  taken  to  raise  a  large  body  of 
troops  ;  a  force  of  nine  hundred  thousand  flies  fully  equipped  to  fight 
the  rebels  in  the  field  or  in  the  air. 


218  PUBLIC  AND  PRIVATE  LIFE  OF  ANIMALS. 

3rd.  The  commissioners  of  police  are  required  to  carry  one  or  more 
lengths  of  rope  as  their  means  will  permit. 

4th.  All  honest  subjects  are  required  to  remain  at  home,  go  to  bed 
early,  get  up  late,  and  to  see  or  hear  nothing.  Such  a  line  of  conduct 


will  prove  to  the  rioters  that  their  projects  find  no  favour    among 
slumbering  citizens. 

$th.  Animals  found  in  pairs,  or  in  groups,  shall  be  cooked,  or  dispersed 


by  force.      This   notice   concerns    Ostriches,    Ducks,    gregarious   and 
socially-disposed  animals. 

A  Kite  was  sent  to  us  bearing  a  flag  of  truce.  We  deigned  to  receive 
and  listen"to  him.  He  said,  "  You,  sirs,  have  spoken  and  managed  affairs 
after  your  own  fashion ;  now  listen,  we  must  each  one  have  our  turn. 
Over  there,  we  number  thirty  three  million  free  subjects,  God's  crea- 
tures, and  every  one  as  ambitious  as  yourselves  to  make  a  stir  in  the 
world ;  to  write  and  speak  fearlessly,  Equality  is  our  divine  right ! " 
"What  is  a  right?"  inquired  an  old  Crow  whose  acquaintance  the 


DAILY  BULLETIN  OF  EVENTS.  219 

reader  has  already  made,  "  summum  jus,  snmma  injuria  /  If  you  must 
all  write,  the  folios  of  the  whole  world  would  not  be  sufficient  to  con- 
tain the  manuscript,  not  even  if  each  one  restricted  himself,  not  to  his 
history,  nor  to  a  page,  line,  word,  letter,  or  even  a  comma." 

This  judicious  refutation  was  deemed  simply  absurd,  and  the  foolish 
Kite  replied  by  asking  another  question.  "  That  is  enough !  who 
endowed  you  with  your  power  of  reckoning  ?  Has  the  God  of  Scarabs 
not  made  earth,  sky,  light,  trees,  and  even  leaves,  that  every  one  who 
has  an  equal  stake,  may  have  an  equal  share  in  all  created  things  ? " 

0  folly !  the  victory  of  such  reasonable  kites  and  scarabs  is  certain. 
Go  back  to  your  camp. 

Alas !  civil  war  is  making  its  way  into  the  most  peaceful  valleys. 
The  spirit  of  revolt  has  spread  from  the  insects  to  the  birds,  and  even 
to  the  quadrupeds.  Alarm  is  everywhere  abroad.  The  doors  of  the 
cages  have  to  be  kept  shut,  a  proceeding  most  galling  to  those  animals 
who  sit  outside  watching  their  neighbours.  Let  the  peacefully  disposed 
take  courage,  the  geese  are  still  guarding  the  capital. 

The  insurgents  have  replied  to  the  articles  of  our  journal,  in  a  paper 
they  have  established,  called  "  The  Guardian  of  Freedom  ; "  or,  "  Review 
of  Animal  Reform." 

Yesterday,  the  friends  of  liberty  assembled  in  the  Hall  of  Natural 
History,  where  stuffed  animals  are  preserved. 

This  preliminary  meeting  was  held  at  a  late  hour.  One  by  one  the 
members  assembled,  and  silently  exchanging  tokens  of  recognition, 
seated  themselves  in  the  galleries  opposite  their  preserved  ancestors. 
The  stillness  was  such,  that  one  could  hardly  distinguish  the  dead  from 
the  living.  The  Elephant,  Bear,  Buffalo,  Bison,  and  the  Eagle  all  arrived 
at  the  same  moment,  as  if  drawn  thither  by  some  power  supernatural. 
But  who  can  deny  that  love  of  liberty  mpves  mountains,  and  at  once 
explains  the  presence  of  these  noble  beasts. 

"Brothers,"  said  an  orator  at  last,  "we  have  remained  silent,  and 
yet  we  know  full  well  the  cause  of  our  meeting.  Fellow  elephants,  apes, 
birds,  and  beasts  !  I  crave  your  forbearance— (cheers) — while  I  point  out 
to  you  the  only  true  elements  of  reform.  (Loud  applause.)  Our  proceed- 
ings last  year  have  let  us  in  for  a  rather  bad  thing ;  the  animals  elected 
to  edit  our  proceedings,  and  to  conduct  the  affairs  of  our  kingdom, 
have  tampered  with  our  liberty.  Visit  their  chambers — there  you  shall 
behold  histories  without  number,  rejected  and  shelved ;  shelved  to  suit 
the  editor's  caprices  !  (Cheers.)  Many  of  the  pages  thus  consigned  to 


DAILY  B ULLE TIN  OF  E VENTS.  22 1 

oblivion,  are  very  mirrors  of  light  and  liberty  that  would  have  shed  a 
glorious  lustre  over  the  ages.  Ah  !  I  see,  in  the  cultured  faces  around, 
the  lineaments  of  all  that  is  noble  and  patriotic  in  the  land  !  I  hear 
in  those  deep  drawn  sighs,  harrowing  tales  of  genius  neglected  and 
suppressed  by  the  jealousy  of  those  who  are  set  over  us !  (Thunders  of 
applause.)  I  read  the  sentiments  of  true  hearts,  roused  by  oppression, 
in  the  fervour  of  your  wagging  tails  and  glorious  gnashing  of  incisors ! 
Brothers,  let  calm  and  tranquil  sagacity  resume  its  throne  in  your 
breasts,  which  are  torn  with  righteous  indignation !  Listen — words 
must  express  pent-up  thoughts  !  I  must  speak  !  you  must  act ! !  The 
course  we  are  pursuing  is  leading  us  to  ruin !  What  has  the  pub- 
lication of  our  history  done  for  us  ?  For  us  ?  nay,  not  for  us  ;  for  the 
few — the  select  favoured  ones  whose  stories  have  appeared  in  its  pages. 
What  has  it  done  for  us  ?  simply  nothing.  In  these  pages  the  wrongs 
of  all,  high  and  low,  should  find  a  place.  Has  it  been  so  1  I  ask  you. 
(Shouts  of  *  No  !  no  !  no  !  down  with  the  editors  !')  Down  with  them  ! 
the  tyrants  ! !  they  have  abused  the  power  we  placed  in  their  hands  ! 
served  their  friends,  and  calmly  said,  '  All  is  well.'  What  has  come  of 
it  all  ?  Has  our  world  ceased  to  be  a  vale  of  tears  ?  Have  our  homes 
been  happier  ?  Our  prospects  brighter  1  Has  our  fame  been  spread 
abroad  1  ('  The  stag,  elk,  and  calf,  No  !  no  ! !')  Brothers,  since  that 
memorable  night,  when  the  first  outcry  for  liberty  and  reform  was 
hailed  by  the  acclamations  of  the  whole  world,  our  rights  and  liberties 
have  been  systematically  betrayed.  We  have  been  sold  !  sold  ! !  sold 
to  men  ! !  ('True,  true  !  they  sold  us,! ')  sold  to  men  ! ! !  But  let  us  leave 
these  inferior  animals  alone,  they  are  not  our  worst  enemies.  Our 
leaders  have  betrayed  us  for  a  caress  from  their  keepers,  or  a  miserable 
subsidy  of  nuts  and  crusts.  Whither  shall  we  direct  our  steps  ?  shall 
it  be  back  to  our  narrow  prisons,  or  lonely  desert  wastes  ?  (All  the 
animals,  'Alas  !  alas! ')  Will  the  clouds  be  our  canopy  and  the  earth 
our  pillow  1  I  tell  you,  friends,  we  shall  all  of  us  die  in  irons.  (In 
chorus,  '  0  misery,  misery  ! ')  " 

The  orator,  turning  towards  the  remains  of  countless  generations  of 
animals,  continued — 

"Remains  of  our  illustrious  ancestors,  you  who  once  lived  and 
bivathed.  Miserable  mummies!  ghosts  of  all  that  is  beautiful  in  our 
vitality  and  action.  Did  you  voluntarily  relinquish  the  care  of  the 
creator  to  play  your  part  in  this  ghastly  mimicry  of  life  ?  Were  we 
created  to  be  stuffed  and  preserved  in  cases,  side  by  side  with  the  poor 


222  PUBLIC  AND  PRIVATE  LIFE  OF  ANIMALS. 

works  of  man,  in  place  of  returning  to  your  parent  earth  after  fulfilling 
your  destinies  ?  Brothers,  let  us  escape  from  men  and  the  doom  that 
awaits  us.  The  way  to  liberty  may  be  narrow  and  well-guarded ;  it  is 
our  only  way !  we  must  follow  it,  force  the  passes,  water  them  with 
our  blood,  and  gain  the  glorious  grassy  plains  and  wooded  vales  of 
freedom ! " 

If  one  may  credit  the  report  of  this  pompous  oration,  the  effect  it 
produced  was  perfectly  marvellous.  We  need  only  notice  one  point  in 
this  wicked  dithyrambic.  You  say,  Mr.  Bison,  the  speaker,  that  we 
have  sold  you — you  are  right  we  have  sold  you  !  and  what  is  more  we 
are  proud  of  it !  No  less  than  20,000  copies.  Could  you  have  done 
so  much  1  You  owe  us  your  thanks  for  raising  your  market  value. 

The  dean  of  the  Jardin  des  Plantes — a  venerable  Buffalo — whose 
personal  character  we  esteem,  replied  thus  to  his  cousin  the 
Bison : — 

"  My  children,  I  am  the  oldest  slave  in  this  garden,  and  have  the 
sad  honour  of  being  your  dean.  Of  my  early  days  I  have  but  a  dim 
recollection,  indeed  I  can  only  recall  the  days  of  my  freedom.  Sweet 
days  they  were,  and  in  spite  of  my  twenty  odd  years  of  bondage  the 
young  blood  comes  back  to  my  heart  as  I  reflect  on  the  prospect  of 
renewed  liberty.  (Cheers.)  I  speak  of  your  liberty,  my  children,  not 
of  my  own,  for  my  eyes  will  close  in  death  long  before  the  dawn  of  that 
glorious  day.  Slave  I  have  lived,  and  slave  I  shall  die.  (Shouts  of 
'Long  live  the  Buffalo.')  My  good  friends,"  replied  the  speaker, 
"it  is  not  in  your  power  to  add  an  hour  to  my  life.  It  is  not  the 
selfish  freedom  of  one,  or  of  many,  but  of  all  that  we  must  seek.  I 
therefore  beseech  you  to  remain  united.  (Murmurs  of  dissent.)  My 
children,  do  not  plunge  into  the  misery  of  civil  strife.  Do  not  cavil 
over  the  mean  rags  of  power.  When  you  have  changed  your  one-eyed 
house  for  a  blind  mock,  what  benefit  will  the  change  confer  1  Think 
of  the  misery  you  may  bring  upon  the  poor  and  helpless  ones,  and 
how  that  a  little  power,  more  or  less,  vested  in  the  hands  of  my 
hearers  can  never  effect  the  good  of  all." 

The  closing  words  of  this  speech  were  listened  to  coldly,  the  respect 
due  to  the  speaker  alone  preventing  a  demonstration. 

"  Civil  war  leads  to  despotism  and  not  to  liberty,"  said  the  dean,  as 
he  sadly  resumed  his  seat. 

"  Are  we  here  to  listen  to  a  sermon  1 "  roared  the  Lynx. 

A  number  of  agitators  followed.     It  is  necessary  here  to  remark  that 


DAILY  BULLETIN  OF  EVENTS.  223 

the  more  indifferent  the  cause  to  be  advocated  the  greater  the  crowd 
of  speakers. 

The  Boar  proceeded  to  address  the  assembly  in  a  flow  of  eloquence, 
until  domestic  duties  called  him  to  the  bosom  of  his  numerous  family. 

Here  we  end  our  quotations  from  the  "  Journal  of  Reform,"  and  in 
justice  to  the  rioters,  will  conclude  with  a  literal  account  of  the  pro- 
ceedings, furnished  by  a  Ferret  who  was  present  at  the  meeting. 

"For  three  hours  the  rioters,  irrespective  of  the  place,  or  the  sacred 
presence  of  the  dead  around,  kept  up  an  incessant  thunder  of  inar- 
ticulate sounds,  stamping,  groaning,  and  applauding.  Sixty-three 
speakers  addressed  the  audience  simultaneously.  The  result  of  this 
tumult  of  voices  may  be  more  easily  imagined  than  described." 

Our  correspondent  adds:  "The  art  of  whistling  and  howling  has 
made  such  astonishing  progress  among  the  audience  as  to  suggest  a 
mass  meeting  in  England  ! " 

One  of  those  doubtful  dogs  who  have  no  political  opinions,  and  who 
are  to  be  found  in  every  popular  assembly  attempted  to  gain  a  hearing. 

"  If  we  are  vanquished  ! "  he  said. 

"Vanquished  !  bah  !  Out  with  the  cur  !"  cried  the  Bear,  with  that 
air  of  brutality  so  peculiarly  his  own. 

"  Out  with  him  !  "  growled  the  Hyena  ;  "  barking  is  not  enough,  we 
must  bite  ! " 

**  Beware  of  the  spy/'  shrieked  the  Weasel. 

The  prudent  brute  waiting  to  hear  no  more,  tucked  his  tail  snugly 
between  his  legs  and  bolted  through  a  window. 

Here  the  Ram  ventured  to  point  out  that  the  editors  had  gained  the 
confidence  of  the  people. 

"  Popularity  is  no  proof  of  genius,"  said  the  Wolf.  "  The  people 
will  forget  their  idols." 

"  And  hate  them,"  growled  the  Hyena. 

"If  they  neglect  their  love,  they  will  nurse  their  hatred  ! "  hissed 
the  Snake. 

The  Fox  perceiving  that  unanimity  of  sentiment  was  hopeless, 
adjourned  the  meeting  by  proposing  that  the  rioters  should  refresh 
themselves  by  a  night's  repose.  So  they  departed  each  one  to  his  den, 
and  there  dreaming  of  reform  and  rapine,  rose  with  the  sun  to  renew 
the  conflict.  They  awoke  to  arms  and  assaulted  the  amphitheatre. 
The  onslaught  was  severe,  and  in  our  extremity  we  inquired  for 
Prince  Leo. 


224 


PUBLIC  AND  PRIVATE  LIFE  OF  ANIMALS. 


li  They  have  taken  the  amphitheatre/'  said  that  great  general,  "  and 
what  is  more  they  shall  keep  it." 

The  prince's  firm  attitude  proved  reassuring,  for  this  renowned  tacti- 
cian had  taken  timely  measures  to  teach  the  traitors  a  terrible  lesson. 
He  shut  them  in  and  secured  the  approaches,  so  that  the  stronghold  was 
like  to  become  the  tomb  of  the  insurgents.  All  attempts  to  relieve 
their  position  were  vigorously  repulsed  by  Prince  Humble-Bee. 


An  audacious  Ape  mounted  the  amphitheatre  roof  and  raised  the 
standard  of  revolt ;  while  a  Mole  proposed  to  entrench  the  army  within 
its  hill.  The  proposal  was  negatived,  as  the  position  was  deemed 
already  too  strong. 

A  celebrated  engineering  Spider  offered  to  spin  a  suspension  bridge 
over  which  the  insurgents  might  escape  during  the  night.  To  this,  the 
Fly  objected,  while  the  Elephant  urged  that  the  work  should  be  at  once 
proceeded  with. 

The  extraordinary  simplicity  of  this  giant  of  the  forest  inspired  one 


DAILY  BULLETIN  OF  EVENTS, 


225 


of  our  friends  with  the  idea  for  the  following  couplet,  which  we  gladly 


insert  (as  it  ought  not  to  be  lost  to  posterity),  regretting,  at  the  same 
time,  that  the  gifted  poet  insists  on  remaining  anonymous  : — 

AIR — "  Fcmmes,  voulez-vous  eprouver" 

"  Un  Eldphant  se  balancait 

Sur  une  toile  d'Araignde; 
Voyant  qu'il  divertissait, 

Une  Mouche  en  fut  indignde  : 
'  Comment  peux-tu  te  rejouer,' 

Dit-elle,  '  en  voyant  ma  souffrance 
Ah  !  viens  plutot  me  soucourir, 

Ma  main  sera  ta  recompense.'  " 


226  PUBLIC  AND  PRIVATE  LIFE  OF  ANIMALS. 


We  secured  a  number  of  brave  auxiliaries  in  the  shrimps,  who, 


headed  by  a  valiant  sea-crab,  shouted,  as  they  formed  into  marching 

order — 

"  Forward  let  us  march 
With  our  backs-upon  the  foe." 

All  good  citizens  were   ordered   to  leave  wife  and  children,  and 


prepare  to  be  everywhere  at  a  moment's  notice,  ready  to  fight  for  their 


DAILY  BULLETIN  OF  EVENTS. 


227 


country.  Notwithstanding  the  happy  stratagem  which  shut  in  the 
rebels,  we  were  doomed  to  defeat.  A  company  of  the  enemy's  flies, 
mechanics,  were  drafted  to  place  the  guns  so  as  to  command  our 
position.  The  coolness  of  these  creatures,  foes  though  they  were, 
won  our  admiration.  They  planted  the  weapons,  with  an  unconcern  as 
complete  as  if  preparing  to  storm  the  calix  of  a  flower,  while  the  result 
of  their  manoeuvres  soon  told  terribly  on  our  left  wing.  Our  swarms, 
impatient  for  the  fray — displaying  more  valour  than  discretion — fell 
upon  the  foe  in  disorganised  detachments.  The  right  attacked  the 
enemy's  left  under  the  leadership  of  the  Goliaths,  but  the  light 
infantry  under  Prince  Humble-Bee  were  as  waves  against  a  rock 
scattered  in  boiling  foam.  Our  left  was  opposed  by  the  mining, 
cutting,  and  carpentering  Andrines,  and  the  corporation  of  Ehinoceros- 
Beetles,  who  having  only  one  horn,  obeyed  the  mighty  two-horned 
Stags.  Flies,  Moths,  Grubs,  and  other  insects  attacked  and  routed  our 
centre.  Prince  Humble-Bee  calculated  on  the  Ehinoceros-Beetles 
attacking  his  heavy  troops,  compelling  them  to  traverse  the  field, 
separating  the  two  armies ;  but  the  Beetle,  who  had  been  apprised  of 
the  plan  of  campaign  by  a  deserter,  commanded  his  troops  to  close 
their  ranks  and  their  wings,  thus  to  await  the  enemy's  shock. 

The  colours  floated   in  the  wind,  the  sun  shone  brightly  on   the 


insects  ranged  in  battle  array,  while  martial  music  fired  our  foes  with 


DAILY  BULLETIN  OF  EVENTS.  229 

desperate  resolve.  From  time  to  time  grains  of  balsam,  projected  into 
the  air  by  Stag-Beetles  with  much  precision,  fell  among  our  troops, 
exploding  and  scattering  death  and  dismay  around.  The  enemy's 
forces  stood  firm  as  a  rock.  Our  army,  thoroughly  demoralised,  made 
a  final  attack,  and  were  beaten  off  with  great  loss.  Bruised  wings, 
scattered  mandibles  and  limbs  impeded  their  movements,  till  at  last 
they  fell  back  in  disorder.  As  a  climax  to  our  misfortunes,  the  general 
of  the  May  Bugs,  rolling  over  on  his  back,  was  pierced  by  the  sting  of 
a  rebel  Wasp.  It  was  a  lost  battle — the  Waterloo  of  our  cause  !  Prince 
Humble-Bee,  not  caring  to  survive  his  defeat,  plunged  into  the  thick  of 
the  fray,  when,  after  performing  prodigies  of  valour,  he  died  the  death 
of  the  brave,  pierced  by  twenty-nine  wounds. 

Notes  by  the  0$ce-Boy. 

Knowing  the  anxiety  of  my  chiefs  to  keep  our  readers  posted  up  in 
news,  I  take  the  liberty  of  writing  in  my  turn,  and  shall  go  on  until  I 
am  arrested. 

My  masters  had  just  finished  speaking,  when  the  door  flew  to  atoms. 
The  Elephant  had  rung  out  the  hour  of  doom  at  the  door  bell,  and 
shivered  the  door  with  his  foot.  The  pen  fell  from  Mr.  Parroquet's 
claw,  and  his  eyes  closed  as  if  in  deep  thought. 

"  What  do  you  see  ? "  he  inquired  of  Mr.  Cock,  who  stood  at  the 
window. 

"  I  see  trouble  upon  trouble ;  we  are  menaced  on  all  sides  !  Con- 
found them  ! !  "  cried  he  bravely ;  "  why  should  we  yield  ? " 

11  Yield  only  to  reason  ! "  said  the  Monkey ;  "  never  to  force  !  " 

"  What !  "  crowed  the  Cock,  jumping  on  the  back  of  the  Ape ; 
"you  cowardly,  man-like  animal,  reason  would  tempt  you  to  yield  up 
your  post  ? " 

"  No  doubt  about  it,"  replied  the  Ape,  who  became  as  livid  as  this 
paper ;  "  if  I  am  " 

He  had  no  time  to  finish  his  sentence ;  the  cabinet  door  flew  open 
and  the  Fox  entered. 

"  Arrest  these  gentlemen,"  said  he  to  the  Dogs  who  followed  him, 
pointing  to  the  trio  of  editors. 

The  Parroquet  flew  up  the  chimney,  the  Monkey  hid  beneath  his 
arm-chair,  while  the  Cock  stood  defiant,  his  comb  never  having  assumed 
a  hue  so  red.  They  were  arrested. 

"  What  are  you  doing  here  ? "  said  the  Fox  to  me. 


DAILY  BULLETIN  OF  EVENTS.  231 

"  Whatever  you  choose,  my  lord,"  I  replied. 

"  Well,  remain  here,"  he  continued. 

Many  others  had  entered  with  the  speaker,  and  shouted,  "  Long  live 
my  lord  the  Fox ! "  They  were  right,  for  never  had  I  beheld  so  affable 
a  prince. 

"  My  friends,"  he  said,  "  nothing  in  this  office  is  changed ;  only  one 
additional  animal  appears."  (Cheers.)  . 

The  Fox,  taking  up  the  abandoned  pen  of  the  Ape,  sat  down  to 
write  his  first  proclamation. 

FIRST  PROCLAMATION. 

"Inhabitants  of  the  Jardin  des  Plantes,  the  editors  having  been 
removed,  all  cause  for  disorder  has  ceased." 

"THE  Fox, 

"Provisional  President  and  Editor." 

"  Eead  and  sign  this  document,"  said  he  to  the  ex-editors. 
Whereupon  the  Cock  replied,  "  Sir,  I  shall  not  dishonour  myself  by 
such  a  treacherous  act." 

"  We  shall  see,"  replied  the  Fox. 

He  then  proceeded  to  draw  up  another  proclamation. 

« 

SECOND  PROCLAMATION. 

"  Citizens,  while  you  were  asleep  you  were  being  betrayed,  but 
friends  were  watching  for  you.  Too  long  had  we  bowed  our  heads 
without  murmuring  j  the  time  had  come  for  us  to  assert  our  dignity. 
The  traitors  who  governed  and  sold  you  breathe  no  more  !  The 
records  of  our  nation  will  teach  the  world  how  the  animal  kingdom 
redresses  its  wrongs.  During  this  hour  justice  has  been  executed,  the 
work  is  finished,  the  culprits  have  paid  with  their  lives  the  penalty  of 
their  guilt — they  have  been  hanged  ! 

"  N.B. — Out  of  sacred  regard  for  our  ancestors  who  suffered  the 
extreme  penalty  of  the  law,  they  have  been  hanged  on  new  gibbets. 

"THE  FOX." 

The  Cock  listened  unmoved  to  the  reading  of  this  second  document. 
"  But,"  said  the  Monkey,  "  my  lord,  we  are  not  hanged." 
"  Are  you  really  thinking  of  hanging   us  ? "   cried  the  Parroquet, 
weeping  at  the  prospect. 


232 


PUBLIC  AND  PRIVATE  LIFE  OF  ANIMALS. 


"No,"  replied  the  Fox,  "it  is  a  proceeding  I  do  not  care  to  cany 
out,  only  you  must  appear  to  have  been  hanged." 

The  shouts  of  the  populace  outside  could  be  plainly  heard,  demand- 
ing the  heads  of  the  editors. 

"Patience,"  replied  the  Fox,  addressing  the  people  from  time  to- 
time — "patience,  if  you  are  wise.  You  shall  have  some  medals  to- 


commemorate  this  event.  [Aside.]  To  refuse  nothing,  and  to  give 
nothing,  is  the  way  to  govern  wisely  and  well." 

The  shouts,  "Death  to  the  tyrants!"  "Death  to  the  editors  ! " 
redoubled. 

"  You  hear,  gentlemen,"  said  the  Fox.  "  It  is  necessary  to  do  some- 
thing for  the  people ;  yet,"  he  added,  "  if  you  can  find  means  to  deceive 
them  by  preserving  your  lives,  you  may  do  so." 

"Means!"  screamed  the  Monkey;  "I  have  found  them,"  and  in 
his  joy  he  turned  three  somersaults. 

Mr.  Monkey  had  got  possession  of  the  stuffed  body  of  an  ancestor, 


DAILY  BULLETIN  OF  EVENTS.  233 

no  doubt  with  the  intention  of  honouring  his  race.  He  at  once  pro- 
duced the  relic,  and  it  was  decided  that  this  defunct  relative  should 
figure  on  the  gibbet  in  place  of  his  erring  descendant.  To  better 
deceive  the  multitude,  before  sending  the  mummy  to  martyrdom  the 
Monkey  attired  it  in  his  coat  and  well-known  cap ;  this  he  did,  not 
without  tokens  of  genuine  grief. 

"  Now,  my  dear  sir,"  continued  the  Fox,  "  you  must  seek  retirement 
for  fifteen  days,  after  which  I  think  you  may  venture  to  show  yourself 
again.  There  is  no  dead  man  or  monkey  who  in  Belle  France  has 
not  the  right  to  come  to  life  audaciously  at  the  end  of  a  fortnight. 
The  people  are  the  most  magnanimous  of  enemies — they  forget  every- 
thing." 

"They  are  also  the  most  fickle  friends,"  replied  the  Ape;  then, 
casting  a  last  fond  look  on  his  boxes,  his  table,  and  his  office,  he 
vanished. 

The  Parroquet  found  means  of  communicating  with  an  old  friend, 
an  ardent  admirer  of  his  talent,  who  volunteered  to  be  hanged  in  his 
stead.  A  quarter  of  an  hour  after  the  execution,  the  ungrateful 
Parroquet  was  joking  with  his  wife  about  the  folly  of  martyrdom. 

The  Cock,  who  remained  true  to  his  principles,  suffered  death,  much 
to  the  regret  of  a  numerous  circle  of  female  admirers. 

The  crowd,  drawn  together  with  the  view  of  seeing  such  mighty 
personages  dangling  in  the  air,  had  its  wish  gratified.  Some  silent 
worshippers  of  the  illustrious  dead  could  scarcely  believe  their  eyes. 

"  Is  it  possible,"  they  said,  "  that  animals  of  such  influence  can  be 
hanged  like  common  felons?  What  is  the  world  coming  to?  They, 
only  the  other  day,  seemed  to  be  the  mainsprings  of  life  ! " 

A  bird  whose  name  remains  unknown  published  a  pamphlet  on 
this  subject,  in  which  he  developed  this  proposition  :  "Is  it  good  that 
he  who  governs  is  not  the  State  1  for  should  misfortune  befall  him, 
there  would  be  an  end  to  the  State." 

After  the  executions  had  taken  place  the  Fox  thought  proper  to 
make  the  two  proclamations  public,  and  being  in  a  mood  for  proclama- 
tions, issued  a  third. 

THIRD  PROCLAMATION. 

"  Inhabitants  of  the  Jardin  des  Plantes,  invested  by  your  confidence 
with  a  post  so  important  as  that  of  directing  the  second  and  last  part 


234  PUBLIC  AND  PRIVATE  LIFE  OF  ANIMALS. 

of  our  National  History,  it  is  needless  here  to  expose  the  principles 
which  obtained  for  me  your  suffrage.  It  is  by  my  work  you  shall  judge 
me.  I  shall  make  no  pledges,  although  pledges  cost  nothing.  I  shall  not 
tell  you  that  the  golden  age  is  about  to  begin  for  you,  whatever  the 
golden  age  may  be ;  but  I  can  assure  you  that  when  you  find  neither 
pen,  ink,  nor  paper  in  my  office,  it  will  be  because  they  are  not  to  be 
had  at  any  price.  My  advice  for  all  is  to  observe  justice  and  sincerity. 
Eemember,  were  these  words  blotted  out  of  the  dictionary,  you  would 
still  find  them  indelibly  engraved  on  the  heart  of  a  Fox. 

"  Your  brother  and  director, 

"THE   FOX." 

The  effect  of  these  proclamations,  which  were  circulated  everywhere, 
was  almost  magical.  Perfect  tranquillity  reigned  \  the  politest  civilities 
were  exchanged  by  all ;  a  little  dust  sprinkled  over  the  dead,  and  one 
would  imagine  that  neither  war  nor  bloodshed  had  ever  disgraced  this 
smiling  land.  Some  disagreeable  animals  who  sneak  about  and  ferret 
out  everything,  having  no  fault  to  find  with  the  chief  editorship  of  the 
Fox,  inquired  by  whom  he  had  been  elected  chief?  What  can  it 
matter  to  them,  so  long  as  he  has  been  elected  ?  One  names  one's  self, 
but  one  is  no  less  editor-in-chief  for  all  that. 

My  lord,  casting  his  eyes  over  my  work,  was  pleased  to  inform  me 
that  I  gave  him  satisfaction,  and  that  he  intended  to  recompense  me. 
Yesterday  I  was  office-boy,  to-day  I  am  His  Highness's  private*  sec- 
retary !  Yesterday  my  feet  were  trod  on,  to-day  they  are  licked  !  I 
am  evidently  somebody,  and  can  do  something.  I  embraced  the 
occasion  to  inform  him  I  had  been  yard-dog  in  a  college. 

"I  congratulate  you  on  your  university  training.  Even  if  one  knows 
nothing  on  leaving  the  walls  of  such  an  institution,  one  is  credited  with 
profound  knowledge.  The  important  part  of  life  consists  not  in  being, 
but  in  appearing  to  be." 

It  is  said  that  I  sold  myself;  it  is  a  mistake,  I  was  bought,  that  was 
all.  Besides,  the  advantageous  post  just  given  to  me  belonged  to  no 
one  ;  it  was  made  expressly  for  me.  There  is  a  ring  at  the  bell,  it  is 
a  deputation  of  animals. 

"  We  come,"  said  the  chief  of  the  deputation  humbly,  "  to  represent 
to  your  Highness  that  something  is  wanting  in  our  glorious  con- 
stitution." 


DAILY  BULLETIN  OF  EVENTS. 


235 


"What?  "said  the  Fox. 

"  Sir,"  replied  the  deputy,  "  what  will  posterity  say  to  our  pulling 


through  a  revolution  without  eating  or  drinking 


TIIF.  DEPUTATION. 


236  PUBLIC  AND  PRIVATE  LIFE  OF  ANIMALS. 

r>'  "Gentlemen,"  said  His  Highness  President  Fox,  "I  note  with  plea- 
sure your  attention  to  important  details,,  and  that  the  country  may  rely 
upon  your  practical  common  sense.  Go  and  dine." 


GOING  TO  THE  BANQUET. 

A  great  public  dinner  was  prepared,  in  token  of  rejoicing,  in  a  field 


DAILY  B ULLE TIN  OF  E VENTS.  237 


in  front  of  the  amphitheatre.  As  on  all  similar  occasions,  there  was 
much  speech-making  and  little  food,  at  least  for  many  of  the  most 
deserving  supporters  of  the  republic.  The  Insects  were  relegated  to  an 
obscure  position,  politely  called  the  place  of  honour,  where  they  feasted 
on  fine  phrases.  In  consideration  of  his  position,  the  Fox,  as  President, 
was  supported  by  a  Duck  and  Indian  Hen,  who  kept  a  respectful  distance 
from  His  Excellency.  It  was  a  most  amicable  gathering.  The  views 
expressed  were  as  diverse  as  the  individuals  present.  One  said  white, 
another  black  ;  one  red,  another  green  ;  and  all  agreed  that  the  speakers 
were  the  living  representatives  of  worth,  genius,  and  national  progress. 
The  Fox  was  everything  to  every  one.  He  had  a  smile  and  kind  word 
for  each  guest.  "You  do  not  eat,"  he  said  to  the  Cormorant.  "Are 
you  ill  ? "  to  the  White  Bear ;  "  you  seem  pale."  To  his  vis  ct  vis,  "  Have 
the  Wolves  no  teeth  now  ?  "  To  the  Penguin,  who  was  yawning,  "  You 
require  rest  after  your  exploits."  To  the  Blackbird,  "  You  seem  silent." 
And  to  all,  "  My  good  friends,  use  your  pens  freely."  At  last  came 
the  toasts,  the  time  for  oratorical  display.  You  should  have  watched 
how  each  one  retired  within  himself,  scratched  his  head  or  pensively 
caressed  his  tail  as  a  means  of  inspiration,  how  each  silently  rehearsed 
his  little  speech.  Unfortunately  the  order  of  the  toasts  had  been 
arranged  beforehand — not  only  the  order,  but  the  number  as  well. 
Splendid  fasting  might  be  forgiven,  but  the  cancelling  of  a  cherished 
toast — never !  In  spite  of  this  wise  precaution,  there  were  so  many 
speakers  that  my  pen  and  patience  alike  failed  to  enumerate  them. 
As  may  be  imagined,  the  first  toast  was  Liberty ;  this  is  traditional,  and 
it  is  no  fault  of  those  who  dine  if  liberty  makes  a  poor  show  on  such 
occasions.  By  courtesy  the  second  was  the  Ladies,  couched  in  these 
terms,  "  To  the  sex  that  adorns  and  ennobles  life  ! "  This  toast,  pro- 
posed by  an  amiable  Hippopotamus  well  known  for  his  gallantry,  was 
greeted  with  applause. 

Towards  the  close  of  the  evening  wine  flowed  freely,  and  as  the 
contents  of  the  cask  fell,  the  spirits  of  the  party  rose  to  that  pitch 
when  all  things  earthly  seemed  steeped  in  the  roseate  light  of  a  glorious 
dawn.  The  repast  ended  like  all  others  of  the  kind,  when  the  face  of 
the  universe  is  proposed  to  be  changed,  and  the  world  forced  backwards 
by  eating  and  drinking.  But  the  morning  revealed  the  marvellous  fact 
that  the  world  still  revolved  in  its  old  way,  and  that  recourse  must 
again  be  had  to  the  common,  traditional,  time-honoured  modes  of  life, 
at  least  so  thought  the  Fox,  who  replaced  his  cap  by  a  little  crown, 


238  PUBLIC  AND  PRIVATE  LIFE  OF  ANIMALS. 

declaring  at  the  same  time  that  in  future  he  would  shun  popular 
feasts  as  he  would  the  devil. 

"  I  am  about  to  draw  up  a  charter.  A  nation  that  has  a  charter 
wants  for  nothing.  Here  is  my  charter  : — 

"  All  animals  who  can  read,  write,  and  especially  count,  who  have 
hay  in  their  racks,  and  powerful  friends,  being  all  equal  before  the  law, 
shall  receive  protection.  The  great  ones  of  the  Jardin  des  Plantes  may 
therefore  enjoy  their  ease.  The  lesser  ones  are  requested  to  give  up 
what  little  they  have,  and  to  become  so  small  as  to  be  imperceptible 
and  impalpable. 

"  It  is  impossible  to  please  every  one ;  those  who  are  displeased  ought 
not  to  be  astonished,  as  they  have  a  right  to  complain.  The  right  of 
drawing  up  petitions  is  solemnly  recognised.  But  as  it  is  well  known 
that  the  moments  of  a  ruler  are  precious,  and  as  it  would  be  impossible 
for  him  to  receive  all  the  petitioners,  it  is  forbidden  for  any  one  to 
bring  his  petition  to  the  august  arm-chair.  They  will  only  be  received 
when  sent  by  post,  postage  prepaid,  and  will  only  be  read  when  con- 
venient to  do  so." 

The  animals  required  no  second  telling.  Every  one  having  some  source 
of  complaint,  petitions  arrived  in  cartloads.  The  earth  and  air  were 
thronged  with  messengers  and  couriers  of  every  description.  The 
charter  had  not  been  published  two  hours  before  the  house,  cellars, 
and  lofts  were  packed  full  of  petitions.  They  were  even  piled  up 
against  the  outside  door. 

"  Fools  ! "  said  the  Fox,  laughing  in  his  sleeve  to  see  they  had  taken 
him  at  his  word.  "  How  long  will  they  imagine  that  governments  are 
made  to  protect  them?  Yet  I  must  look  at  these  petitions,  and  in 
order  to  observe  the  strictest  impartiality,  will  close  my  eyes." 

He  opened  one  written  by  a  Bittern,  signed  and  crossed  by  many 
supporters.  It  ran  as  follows  : — 

"  The  undersigned  declare  that  they  have  had  enough  of  civil  dis 
cords  and  of  preliminary  proceedings,  and  suggest  that  the  white 
Blackbird  should  now  be  called  upon  to  relate  his  history." 

"  I  like  this  petition,"  said  the  Fox,  "  as  it  enables  us  to  dispense 
with  opening  the  others.  The  others  may  make  a  bonfire." 

No  sooner  said  than  done.     They  were  burned. 


HISTORY  OF  A  WHITE  BLACKBIRD. 


How  glorious  and  yet  how 
painful  it  is  to  be  an  ex- 
ceptional Blackbird  !  I 
am  not  a  fabulous  bird. 
M.  de  Buffon  has  described 
me.  But,  alas  !  I  am  of 
an  exceedingly  rare  type, 
very  difficult  to  find,  and 
one  that  ought.  I  think, 
never  to  have  existed. 

My  parents  were  worthy 
birds,  who  lived  in  an  old 
out-of-the-way  kitchen- 
garden.  Ours  was  a  most 
exemplary  home.  While 
my  mother  laid  regularly 
three  times  a  year,  my 
father,  though  old  and 
petulant,  still  grubbed 
round  the  tree  in  which 
she  sat,  bringing  her  the 
daintiest  insect  fare.  When  night  closed  round  the  scene,  he  never 
missed  singing  his  well-known  song,  to  the  delight  of  the  neighbour- 
hood. No  domestic  grief,  quarrel,  or  cloud  of  any  sort  had  marred  this 
happy  union. 

Hardly  had  I  left  my  shell,  when  my  father,  for  the  first  time  in  his 
life,  thoroughly  lost  his  temper.  Although  I  was  of  a  doubtful  grey,  he 
neither  recognised  in  me  the  colour  nor  the  shape  of  his  numerous 
posterity. 

"  This  is  a  most  doubtful  child,"  he  used  to  say,  as  he  cast  a  side 


240  PUBLIC  AND  PRIVATE  LIFE  OF  ANIMALS. 

glance  at  me,  "  neither  white  nor  black,  as  dirty-looking  as  he  seems 
ill-begotten." 

"Ah  me !  "  sighed  my  mother,  who  was  always  coiled  up  in  a  ball  on 
her  nest.  "  You  yourself,  dear,  were  you  not  a  charming  good-for- 
nothing  in  your  youth  ?  Our  little  pet  will  grow  up  to  be  the  best  of 
our  brood." 

While  taking  my  part,  my  mother  felt  inward  qualms  as  she  saw  my 
callow  down  grow  to  feathers  ;  but,  like  all  mothers,  her  heart  warmed 
to  the  child  least  favoured  by  nature,  and  she  instinctively  sought  to 
shield  me  from  the  cruel  world. 

When  I  was  moulting,  for  the  first  time  my  father  became  quite 
pensive,  and  considered  me  attentively.  While  my  down  fell  off  he 
even  treated  me  with  some  degree  of  favour,  but  as  soon  as  my  poor 
cold  wings  received  their  covering,  as  each  white  feather  appeared,  he 
became  so  furious  that  I  dreaded  his  plucking  me  alive.  Having  no 
mirror,  I  remained  ignorant  of  the  cause  of  his  wrath,  and  was  at  a  loss 
to  account  for  the  studied  unkindness  of  the  best  of  parents.  One  day, 
filled  with  joy  by  a  beam  of  sunlight  and  the  warmth  of  my  new  coat,  I 
left  the  nest,  and  alighting  in  the  garden,  burst  into  song.  Instantly 
my  father  darted  down  from  his  perch  with  the  velocity  of  a  rocket. 

^"What  do  I  hear?"  he  cried.  "  Is  that  meant  for  a  Blackbird's 
whistle  ?  Is  it  thus  I  sing  1  Do  you  call  that  song  ? " 

Returning  to  my  mother  with  a  most  dangerous  expression  lurking 
round  his  beak,  "  Unfortunate  !  who  has  invaded  our  nest  ]  who  laid 
that  egg?" 

At  these  words  my  good  mother  jumped  from  her  nest  fired  by  proud 
resentment.  In  doing  so  she  fell  and  hurt  her  leg;  she  wished  to  speak, 
but  her  heart  was  too  full  for  words.  She  fell  to  the  ground  fainting. 

Frightened  and  trembling,  I  cast  myself  at  my  father's  feet.  "0 
my  father  ! "  I  said,  "  if  I  whistle  out  of  tune,  and  am  clothed  in  white, 
do  not  punish  my  poor  mother.  Is  it  her  fault  that  nature  has  not 
tuned  my  ear  like  yours  ?  Is  it  her  fault  that  I  have  not  your  yellow 
beak  and  glossy  black  coat,  which  recall  a  sleek  parson  swallowing  an 
omelette  ?  If  Heaven  has  made  me  a  monster,  and  if  some  one  must 
bear  the  punishment,  let  me  be  the  only  sufferer." 

"That  is  not  the  question,"  said  my  father.  "Who  taught  you  to 
whistle  against  rule  ] " 

"  Alas  !  sir,"  I  said  humbly,  "  I  whistled  as  best  I  could,  because  my 
breast  was  full  of  sunshine  and  stomach  full  of  grubs." 


HISTORY  OF  A    WHITE  BLACKBIRD.  241 

"  Such  whistling  was  never  known  in  my  family,"  he  replied.     "  For 
untold  centuries  we  have  whistled,  from  father  to  son,  the  notes  alone 


by  which  we  are  known.     Our  morning  and  evening  warblings  have 

Q 


242  PUBLIC  AND  PRIVATE  LIFE  OF  ANIMALS. 

been  the  pride  of  the  world  since  the  dawn  that  awoke  us  to  the  joys 
of  paradise.  My  voice  alone  is  the  delight  of  a  gentleman  on  the  first 
floor  and  of  a  poor  girl  in  the  attic  of  yonder  house.  They  open  their 
windows  to  listen  to  me.  Is  it  not  enough  to  have  your  whitened 
clown-at-a-fair  coat  constantly  before  my  eyes?  Were  I  not  the 
most  pacific  of  parents,  I  should  have  you  plucked  and  toasted  on  the 
poor  girl's  spit." 

"Well,"  I  cried,  disgusted  with  my  father's  injustice,  "be  it  so,  I 
will  leave  you — deliver  you  from  the  sight  of  this  white  tail  you  are 
constantly  pulling.  As  my  mother  lays  three  times  a  year,  you  may 
yet  have  numerous  black  children  to  console  your  old  age.  I  will  seek 
a  hiding-place  for  my  misery ;  perchance  some  shady  spout  which  shall 
afford  flies  or  spiders  to  sustain  my  sad  life.  Adieu  ! " 

"Please  yourself,"  replied  my  father,  who  seemed  to  enjoy  the 
prospect  of  losing  me;  "you  are  no  son  of  mine — in  fact,  you  are  no 
Blackbird." 

"  And  who  may  I  be,  pray  1 " 

"Impossible  to  say;  but  you  are  no  Blackbird." 

After  these  memorable  words,  my  unnatural  parent  with  slow  steps 
left  me,  and  my  poor  mother  limped  into  a  bush  to  weep.  As  for 
myself,  I  flew  to  the  spout  of  a  neighbouring  house. 

II. 

My  father  was  heartless  enough  to  leave  me  in  this  mortifying 
situation  for  some  days.  In  spite  of  his  violence  he  was  naturally 
kind-hearted,  and  had  he  not  been  prevented  by  his  pride,  he  would 
have  come  to  comfort  me.  I  saw  that  he  would  fain  forgive  and 
forget,  while  my  mother's  eyes  hardly  left  me  for  an  instant.  For  all 
that,  they  could  not  get  over  my  abnormally  white  plumage,  and  bring 
themselves  to  own  me  as  a  member  of  the  family. 

"  It  is  quite  evident  I  am  not  a  Blackbird,"  I  repeated  to  myself, 
and  my  image,  reflected  in  a  pool  of  water  in  the  spout,  confirmed  this 
belief. 

One  wet  night,  when  I  was  going  off  to  sleep,  a  thin,  tall,  wiry- 
looking  bird  alighted  close  by  my  side.  He  seemed,  like  myself,  a 
needy  adventurer,  but  in  spite  of  the  storm  that  lifted  his  battered 
plumage,  he  carried  his  head  with  a  proud  and  charming  grace.  I 


HISTORY  OF  A    WHITE  BLACKBIRD.  243 

made  him  a  modest  bow,  to  which  he  replied  with  a  blow  of  his  wing, 
nearly  sweeping  me  from  the  spout. 

"  Who  are  you  1 "  he  said  with  a  voice  as  husky  as  his  head  was 
bald. 

"  Alas  !  good  sir,"  I  replied,  fearing  a  second  blow,  "  I  have  no  notioii 
who  I  am ;  I  imagine  myself  to  be  a  Blackbird." 

The  singularity  of  my  reply,  together  with  my  simple  artlessness, 
interested  him  so  much  that  he  requested  me  to  tell  him  my  history, 
which  I  did. 

"  Were  you  like  me,  a  Carrier-Pigeon,"  said  he,  "all  the  doubtings 
and  nonsense  would  be  driven  out  of  your  head.  Our  destiny  is  to 
travel.  We  have  our  loves — we  also  have  our  history ;  yet  I  own  I  don't 
know  who  my  father  is.  To  cleave  the  air,  to  traverse  space,  to  view 
beneath  our  feet  man-inhabited  mountains  and  plains ;  to  breathe  the 
blue  ether  of  the  sky,  in  place  of  the  foul  exhalations  of  the  earth ;  to 
fly  like  an  arrow  from  place  to  place,  bearing  tidings  of  peace  or  war, — 
these  are  our  pleasures  and  our  duties.  I  go  farther  in  one  day  than 
a  man  does  in  six  days." 

"Well,  sir,"  I  replied,  a  little  emboldened,  "you  are  a  Bohemian 
bird." 

"  True,"  he  said  ;  "  I  have  no  country,  and  my  knowledge  is  limited 
to  these  things — my  wife,  my  little  ones ;  and  where  my  wife  is,  there 
is  my  country." 

"What  have  you  round  your  neck?" 

"These  are  papers  of  importance,"  he  replied  proudly.  "I  am 
bound  for  Brussels  with  news  to  a  celebrated  banker  which  will  lower 
the  interest  of  money  one  franc  seventy-eight  centimes." 

"  Ah  me  ! "  I  exclaimed,  "  you  have  a  noble  destiny.  Brussels  must, 
I  suppose,  be  a  tine  city?  Could  you  not  take  me  with  you ?  as  I  am 
not  a  Blackbird,  perhaps  I  am  a  Carrier-Pigeon." 

"  Were  you  a  Carrier  you  would  have  returned  my  blow." 

"Well,  sir,"  I  continued,  "I  will  return  it,  only  don't  let  us  quarrel 
about  trifles.  Morning  dawns  and  the  storm  has  abated,  pray  let  me 
follow  you.  I  am  lost,  have  no  home,  nothing  in  the  world ;  should 
you  leave  me,  I  shall  destroy  myself  in  the  gutter." 

"  Come  along,  follow  me  if  you  can." 

Casting  a  last  look  at  the  garden  where  my  mother  was  sleeping,  I 
spread  my  wings  and  away  I  flew. 


244  PUBLIC  AND  PRIVATE  LIFE  OF  ANIMALS. 


III. 

My  wings  were  still  feeble,  and  while  my  guide  flew  like  the  wind,  I 
struggled  along  at  his  side,  keeping  up  pretty  well  for  some  time. 
Soon  I  became  confused,  and  nearly  fainting  with  fatigue,  gasped 
out,  "  Are  we  near  Brussels  ? " 

"No,  we  are  at  Cambray,  and  have  sixty  miles  to  fly." 

Bracing  myself  for  a  final  effort,  I  flew  for  another  quarter  of  an 
hour,  and  besought  him  to  rest  a  little  as  I  felt  thirsty. 

"Bother!  you  are  only  a  Blackbird,"  replied  my  companion,  con- 
tinuing his  journey  as  I  fell  into  a  wheat-field. 

I  know  not  how  long  I  lay  there.  When  at  last  I  made  an  effort 
to  raise  myself,  the  pain  of  the  fall  and  fatigue  of  the  journey  so 
paralysed  me  that  I  could  not  move.  The  dread  of  death  filled  my 
breast  when  I  saw  approaching  me  two  charming  birds,  one  a  nicely- 
marked  coquettish  Magpie,  the  other  a  rose-coloured  Eingdove.  The 
Dove  stopped  a  few  paces  off  and  gazed  on  me  with  compassion,  but 
the  Magpie  hastened  to  my  side,  saying,  "  Ah,  my  poor  child,  what 
has  befallen  you  in  this  lonely  spot  ? " 

"  Alas  !  madam,  I  am  a  poor  traveller  left  by  a  courier  on  the  road ; 
I  am  starving." 

"  What  do  I  hear  1 "  she  exclaimed,  and  flew  to  the  surrounding 
bushes,  gathering  some  fruits,  which  she  presented  on  a  holly  leaf. 
"Who  are  you?"  she  continued;  "  where  do  you  come  from?  Your 
account  of  yourself  is  scarcely  to  be  credited ;  you  are  so  young,  you 
have  only  cast  your  down.  What  are  your  parents?  how  is  it  they 
leave  you  in  such  a  plight?  I  declare  it  is  enough  to  make  one's 
feathers  stand  on  end." 

While  she  was  speaking  I  raised  myself  a  little  and  ate  the  fruit 
ravenously,  the  Dove  watching  my  every  movement  most  tenderly. 
Seeing  I  was  athirst,  she  brought  the  cup  of  a  flower  half  full  of 
rain-drops,  and  I  quenched  my  thirst,  but  not  the  fire  kindled  in 
my  heart.  I  knew  nothing  of  love,  but  my  breast  was  filled  with  a 
new  sensation.  I  should  have  gone  on  dining  thus  for  ever,  had  it 
been  possible,  but  my  appetite  refused  to  keep  pace  with  my  senti- 
ment, nor  would  my  narrow  stomach  expand. 

The  repast  ended  and  my  energies  restored,  I  satisfied  the  curiosity 
of  my  friends  by  relating  my  misfortunes.  The  Magpie  listened  with 
marked  attention,  while  the  tender  looks  of  the  Dove  were  full  of 


HISTORY  OP  A    WHITE  BLACKBIRD. 


245 


246  PUBLIC  AND  PRIVATE  LIFE  OF  ANIMALS. 

sympathy.  When  I  came  to  the  point  where  it  was  necessary  to 
confess  ignorance  of  my  name  and  nature,  I  felt  certain  I  had  sealed 
my  fate. 

"Come,"  cried  the  Magpie,  '-you  are  joking.  You  a  Blackbird? 
Nonsense ;  you  are  a  Magpie,  my  dear  fledgling — a  M'agpie,  if  ever  there 
was  one,  and  a  very  nice  one  too,"  she  added,  touching  me  lightly  with 
her  fan-like  wing. 

"Madam,"  I  replied,  "it  seems  to  me  that  I  am  entirely  white,  and 
that  to  be  a  Magpie Do  not  be  angry,  pray." 

"  A  Ku-ssian  Magpie,  my  dear ;  you  are  a  Russian  Magpie." 

"How  is  that  possible,  when  I  was  hatched  in  France,  of  French 
parents  ? " 

"  My  good  child,  there  is  no  accounting  for  these  freaks  of  nature. 
Believe  me,  we  have  Magpies  of  all  colours  and  climes  born  in  France. 
Only  confide  in  me,  and  I  will  take  you  to  one  of  the  finest  places  on 
earth." 

"  Where,  madam,  if  you  please  1 " 

"To  my  verdant  palace,  my  little  one.  There  you  \\ill  behold  life 
as  it  ought  to  be.  There  you  shall  not  have  been  a  Magpie  for  five 
minutes  before  you  shall  resolve  to  die  a  Magpie.  We  are  about  one 
hundred  all  told,  mark  you,  not  common  village  Magpies  who  pick  up 
their  bread  along  the  highway.  Our  set  is  distinguished  by  seven  black 
marks  and  five  white  ones  on  our  coats.  You  are  altogether  white. 
That  is  certainly  a  pity,  but  your  Eussian  origin  will  render  you  a  wel- 
come addition  to  our  number.  I  will  put  that  straight.  Our  existence 
is  spent  in  dressing  and  chattering,  and  we  are  each  careful  to  choose 
our  perch  on  the  oldest  and  highest  tree  in  the  land.  There  is  a  huge 
oak  in  the  heart  of  our  forest,  alas !  it  is  uninhabited ;  it  was  the 
home  of  the  late  Pius  X.,  and  is  now  the  resort  of  Penguins.  We 
pass  our  time  most  pleasantly,  our  women  folk  are  not  more  gossiping 
than  their  husbands  are  jealous.  Our  pleasures  are  pure  and  joyous, 
since  our  hearts  are  as  true  as  our  language  is  free.  Our  pride  is 
unbounded.  Should  an  unfortunate  low-born  Jay  or  Sparrow  intrude 
himself,  we  set  upon  him  and  pick  him  to  pieces.  Nevertheless,  our 
fellows  are  the  best  in  the  world,  and  readily  help,  feed,  and  persecute 
the  poor  Sparrows,  Bullfinches,  and  Tomtits  who  live  in  our  underwood. 
Nowhere  can  one  find  more  gossip,  and  nowhere  less  malice.  We  are 
not  without  devout  Magpies  who  tell  their  beads  all  day  long,  and  the 
gayest  of  our  youngsters  are  left  to  themselves,  even  by  dowagers.  In 


HISTORY  OF  A   WHITE  BLACKBIRD.  247 

a  word,  we  pass  our  time  in  an  atmosphere  of  glory,  honour,  pleasure, 
and  misery." 

"  This  opens  up  a  splendid  prospect,  madam,  and  I  would  be  foolish 
not  to  accept  your  hospitality  •  yet,  before  starting  on  our  journey,  per- 
mit me  to  say  a  word  to  this  good  Ringdove.  Madam,"  1  continued, 
addressing  the  Dove,  "  tell  me  frankly,  do  you  think  I  am  a  Russian 
Magpie? ?; 

At  this  question  the  Dove  bent  her  head  and  blushed.  "Really, 
sir."  she  replied,  "  I  do  not  know  that  I  can." 

"  In  Heaven's  name,  madam,  speak ;  my  words  cannot  offend  you. 
You  who  have  inspired  me  with  a  feeling  of  devotion  so  new  and  so 
intense  that  I  will  wed  either  of  you  if  you  tell  me  truly  what  I  am." 
Then  softly  I  continued,  "  There  seems  to  be  something  of  the  Dove 
about  me,  which  causes  me  the  deepest  perplexity." 

aln  truth,"  said  the  Dove,  "it  may  be  the  warm  reflection  from  the 
poppies  that  imparts  to  your  plumage  a  dove-like  hue." 

She  dared  say  no  more.  "Oh,  misery  !"  I  exclaimed,  "how  shall  I 
decide]  How  give  my  heart  to  either  of  you  while  it  is  torn  with 
doubts  ]  0  Socrates,  what  an  admirable  precept  was  yours,  yet  how 
difficult  to  follow,  '  Know  your  own  mind  ' !  It  now  occurred  to  me  to 
sing,  in  order  to  discover  the  truth.  I  had  a  notion  that  my  father  was 
too  impulsive,  as  he  condemned  me  after  hearing  the  first  part  of  my  song. 
The  second  part,  I  was  fain  to  believe,  might  work  miracles  with  these 
dear  creatures.  Politely  bowing  by  way  of  claiming  their  indulgence,  I 
began  to  whistle,  then  twitter  and  make  little  warblings,  after  which, 
inflating  my  breast  to  its  fullest,  I  sang  as  loud  as  a  Spanish  muleteer 
in  his  mountains.  The  melody  caused  the  Magpie  to  move  away  little 
by  little  with  an  air  of  surprise,  then  in  a  stupefaction  of  fright  she 
described  circles  round  me  like  a  cat  round  a  piece  of  bacon  which  had 
burned  her,  and  which  proved  too  tempting  to  relinquish.  The  more 
impatient  she  became,  the  more  I  sang.  She  resisted  five-and-twenty 
bars,  and  then  flew  back  to  her  green  palace.  The  Ringdove  had  fallen 
asleep — admirable  illustration  of  the  power  of  song.  I  was  just  about 
to  fly  away  when  she  awoke  and  bade  me  adieu,  saying — 

"  Handsome,  dull,  unfortunate  stranger,  my  name  is  Gourouli. 
Think  of  me,  adieu  !  " 

"  Fair  Gourouli !  "  I  replied,  already  on  my  way,  "  I  would  fain  live 
and  die  with  thee.  Such  happiness  is  not  for  me." 


248  PUBLIC  AND  PRIVATE  LIFE  OF  ANIMALS. 


IV. 

The  sad  effect  of  my  song  weighed  heavily  upon  me.  Alas  !  music- 
and  poesy,  how  few  hearts  there  are  who  understand  thee  !  Wrapped 
in  these  reflections,  I  knocked  my  head  against  a  bird  flying  in  an 
opposite  direction.  The  shock  was  so  great  that  we  both  fell  into  a 
tree.  After  shaking  ourselves,  I  looked  at  the  stranger,  expecting  a 
scene,  and  with  surprise  noted  he  was  white,  wearing  on  his  head  a 
most  comical  tuft  and  cocking  his  tail  in  the  air.  He  seemed  in  no- 
way disposed  to  quarrel,  so  I  took  the  liberty  of  asking  his  name  and 
nationality. 

"  I  am  more  than  astonished  you  do  not  recognise  me,"  he  said.  "Are 
you  not  one  of  us  ? " 

"  In  truth,  sir,"  I  replied,  "  I  do  not  know  who  I  am  myself,  far  less 
who  you  are.  Every  one  asks  me  the  same  question,  '  Who  are  you  1 ' 
Who  should  I  be  if  I  am  not  one  of  nature's  practical  jokes  ? " 

"Come  now,  that  will  do;  I  am  no  green  hand  to  be  caught  by 
chaff.  Your  coat  suits  you  too  well ;  you  cannot  disguise  yourself,  my 
brother.  You  certainly  belong  to  the  illustrious  and  ancient  family 
called  in  Latin  Cacuata,  and  in  the  vulgar  tongue  Cockatoo." 

"  Indeed,  sir  ?  Since  you  have  been  good  enough  to  find  me  a  family 
and  a  name,  may  I  inquire  how  a  well-bred  Cockatoo  conducts  his 
affairs  ? " 

"  We  do  nothing,  and  what  is  more,  we  are  paid  for  doing  nothing  I 
I  am  the  great  poet  Cacatogan — quite  an  exceptional  member  of  my 
family.  I  have  made  long  journeys,  crossed  arid  plains,  and  made  no 
end  of  cruel  peregrinations.  It  seems  but  yesterday  since  I  courted 
the  Muses,  and  my  attachment  has  been  most  unfortunate.  I  sang 
under  Louis  XVI.,  I  clamoured  for  the  Republic,  I  chanted  under  the- 
Empire,  discreetly  praised  the  Reformation,  and  even  made  an  effort 
in  these  degenerate  days  to  meet  the  exigencies  of  this  heartless  cen- 
tury. I  have  tossed  over  the  world  clever  distiches,  sublime  hymns,, 
graceful  dithyrambics,  pious  elegies,  furious  dramas,  doubtful  romances, 
and  bloody  tragedies.  In  a  word,  I  flatter  myself  I  have  added  some 
glorious  festoons,  gilded  pinnacles,  and  choice  arabesques  to  the  temple 
of  the  Muses.  Age  has  not  bereft  me  of  poetic  fire.  I  was  just  com- 
posing a  song  when  we  came  into  collision,  and  you  knocked  the  train 
of  my  ideas  off  the  line.  For  all  that,  if  I  can  be  of  any  service  to  you 
I  am  heartily  at  your  disposal." 


HISTORY  OF  A    WHITE  BLACKBIRD. 


249 


"  You,  sir,  can  serve  me,"  I  replied,  "  for  at  this  moment  I  too  feel 
something  of  the  poetic  fire  of  which  yon  speak,  although,  unlike 
yourself,  laying  no  claims  to  poetic  fame.  I  am  naturally  endowed 
with  a  voice  and  song  which  together  violate  all  the  old  rules  of  art." 


"  I  myself  have  forgotten  the  rules.     Genius  may  not  be  fettered,  her 
flights  arc  far  beyond  all  that  is  stiff  and  formal  in  schools  of  art." 
"  But,  sir,  my  voice  has  a  most  unaccountable  effect  on  those  who 


250  PUBLIC  AND  PRIVATE  LIFE  OF  ANIMALS. 

listen  to  its  melody,  an  effect  similar  to  that  of  a  certain  Jean  de 
Nivelle  whom You  know  the  rest." 

"Yes,  yes,"  said  Cacatogan.  "I  myself  suffer  from  a  similar  cause, 
thoroughly  inexplicable,  although  the  effect  is  incontestable." 

"  Sir,  you  are  the  Nestor  of  poetry.  Can  you  suggest  a  remedy  for 
this  peculiarity  of  song  ?  " 

"  No  ;  during  my  youth  I  was  much  annoyed  by  it.  Believe  me,  its 
effect  indicates  only  the  public  inability  to  appreciate  true  inspira- 
tion." 

"  That  may  be  so.  Permit  me  to  give  you  an  example  of  my  style, 
after  which  you  will  be  better  able  to  advise  me." 

"  Willingly,"  replied  Cacatogan ;  "  I  am  all  ears." 

I  tuned  my  pipe  at  once  and  had  the  satisfaction  of  seeing  that  he 
neither  flew  off  nor  fell  asleep,  but  riveted  his  gaze  on  me,  and  from 
time  to  time  displayed  tokens  of  approbation.  Soon,  however,  I  per- 
ceived he  was  not  listening ;  his  flattering  murmurs  were  lavished  on 
himself. 

Taking  advantage  of  a  pause  in  my  song  he  instantly  struck  in,  "It 
is  the  six-thousandth  production  of  my  brain,  and  who  dare  say  I  am. 
old  ?  My  lines  are  as  harmonious  and  my  imagination  as  vivid  as 
ever.  I  shall  exhibit  this  last  child  of  my  genius  to  my  good  friends ;  " 
thus  saying  he  flew  off  without  another  word. 


Y. 

Left  thus  alone  and  disappointed,  I  hastened  my  flight  to  Paris, 
unfortunately  losing  my  way.  The  journey  with  the  Pigeon  had  been 
too  rapid  and  unpleasant  to  leave  any  lasting  impression  of  landmarks 
on  my  mind.  I  had  made  my  way  to  Bourget,  and  was  driven  to  seek 
shelter  in  the  woods  of  Morfontaine  just  as  night  closed  in. 

Every  bird  had  sought  its  nest  save  the  Magpies  and  Jays — the 
worst  bedfellows  in  the  world — who  were  quarrelling  on  all  sides.  On 
the  borders  of  a  brook  two  Herons  stood  gravely  meditating,  while  close 
at  hand  a  pair  of  forlorn  husbands  were  patiently  waiting  the  arrival 
of  their  giddy  wives,  who  were  flirting  in  an  adjoining  hedge.  Loving 
Tomtits  played  in  the  underwood,  beneath  a  tree  where  a  busy  Wood- 
pecker was  hustling  her  brood  into  a  hollow  in  the  trunk.  On  all  sides 
resounded  voices  saying,  "Come,  my  wife!"  "Come,  my  daughter!" 


HISTORY  OF  A   WHITE  BLACKBIRD. 


251 


252  PUBLIC  AND  PRIVATE  LIFE  OF  ANIMALS. 


"Come,  my  beauty!"  "Here  I  am,  my  dear!"  "Good-night,  love  ! " 
"Adieu,  my  friends! "  "  Sleep  well,  my  children  i  " 

The  situation  for  a  celibate  was  most  embarrassing.  I  was  almost 
tempted  to  seek  the  hospitality  of  some  birds  of  my  own  size,  as  we 
all  looked  alike  grey  in  the  dark.  At  last  perching  on  a  branch 
where  there  was  a  row  of  different  birds,  and  modestly  taking  the  lower 
end,  I  hoped  to  remain  unobserved ;  but  I  was  disappointed.  My 
nearest  neighbour  was  an  old  Dove,  as  thin  as  a  rusty  weather-cock. 
The  moment  I  approached  her,  the  few  feathers  which  covered  her 
bones  became  the  objects  of  her  solicitude.  She  pretended  to  pick 
them,  but  as  they  had  only  a  slender  hold  of  her  skin,  merely  passed 
them  in  review,  to  make  sure  she  had  her  right  number.  Scarcely 
had  I  touched  her  with  the  tip  of  my  wing,  when,  drawing  herself  up 
majestically,  she  said,  "  How  dare  you,  sir  1"  administering  at  the  same 
time  a  vigorous  British  push  that  sent  me  spinning  into  the  heath,  on 
the  top  of  a  Hazel  Hen,  who  would  have  willingly  made  room  for  me,, 
only  her  spare  bed  was  taken  up  by  a  son  returned  from  the  harvesting. 

I  heard  myself  called  by  the  sweet  voice  of  a  Thrush,  who  made 
signs  for  me  to  join  her  companions.  Here  at  last,  I  thought,  are  some 
birds  of  my  feather,  and  nothing  loath,  took  my  place  among  them  as. 
lightly  as  a  billet-doux  disappearing  in  a  lady's  muff.  Alas  !  I  discovered 
that  the  dames  had  feasted  freely  on  the  juice  of  the  grape,  so  I 
left  them,  to  flee  I  knew  not  where,  as  the  night  was  pitchy  dark. 
Onward  I  sped  till  arrested  by  a  burst  of  heavenly  music.  It  was  the 
song  of  the  Nightingale,  and  dame  Nature,  attired  in  her  sombre  hues, 
stood  listening  in  silence  to  the  glorious  lullaby  that  had  soothed 
her  children  to  sleep.  The  song  recalled  the  first  notes  that  doomed 
me  to  become  an  outcast.  There  was  a  touch  of  melancholy  about  the 
music,  a  mournful  refrain  that  seemed  to  breathe  forth  a  longing  for 
something  brighter,  purer,  holier  than  all  life's  experiences.  My 
resolution  to  live  my  life  out  seemed  to  melt  away  in  the  liquid  strain, 
and  at  the  risk  of  becoming  the  prey  of  some  nocturnal  Owl,  I  plunged 
into  the  darkness  determined  to  return  to  my  home  or  die  in  the  effort. 
At  daybreak  I  descried  the  towers  of  Notre  Dame,  and  soon  perched 
upon  the  sacred  building,  to  rest  for  a  moment  before  alighting  in  the 
old  garden.  Alas  !  absence  had  wrought  a  sad  change.  Nothing  re- 
mained to  mark  the  site  save  a  bundle  of  fagots.  Where  was  my 
mother  ?  In  vain  I  piped  and  sang,  and  called  on  her  to  return.  She 
had  left  the  old  familiar  scene.  There  stood  the  woodman's  axe  that 


HISTORY  OF  A   WHITE  BLACKBIRD.  253 

had  laid  low  the  trees  and  severed  the  ties  of  kindred.  The  shrubs 
of  the  green  lane  were  rooted  up  to  make  way  for  the  cold  grey  stones 
of  the  abodes  of  men. 

VI. 

I  searched  for  my  parents  in  all  the  gardens  around,  but  in  vain ; 
they  had  doubtless  sought  refuge  in  some  distant  spot,  and  were  lost 
to  me  for  ever.  Overwhelmed  with  sorrow,  I  lingered  about  the  spout 
from  which  my  father's  wrath  had  exiled  me.  Sleep  deserted  me,  and 
I  lay  down  to  die  of  hunger  and  grief.  One  day  my  sad  reflections 
were  interrupted  by  the  jarring  discord  of  two  voices.  Two  slattern 
dames,  standing  slipshod,  dirty,  and  bedraggled  in  the  road  beneath, 
were  disputing  over  some  point  of  household  discipline,  when  one 
clinched  the  argument  by  exclaiming,  "  Egad  !  when  you  manage,  you 
slut,  to  do  these  things,  just  let  me  know  on't,  and  my  faith,  I'll  bring 
you  a  white  Blackbird." 

Here  was  a  discovery ;  probably  the  little  unforeseen  circumstance 
destined  to  turn  the  tide  of  my  fortune  and  land  me  at  last  in  Elysium. 
I  must  be  a  real,  though  rare  bird  of  a  misguided  type.  Thus  impartial 
speech  is  sufficient  to  justify  the  conclusion.  That  being  so,  humility 
ill  befits  me.  It  is  a  mistake  to  cheapen  what  in  reality  are  attributes 
as  rare  as  they  are  highly  prized.  I  am  the  one  living  illustration 
that  in  nature,  as  in  law,  nothing  is  impossible — that  black  even  may 
become  white.  In  law,  I  am  told,  this  transformation  is  effected 
thoroughly,  but  at  the  same  time  at  great  cost  to  clients,  and  only  by 
highly-gifted  members  of  the  bar.  In  my  own  case,  natural  law  has 
been  manipulated  to  bring  about  a  like  end,  intended  clearly  for  my 
gain. 

These  sage  conclusions  led  at  once  to  my  assuming  the  airs  and 
importance  of  a  creature  who  for  the  first  time  discovers  that  his 
genius  has  raised  him  from  the  gutter  far  above  all  his  fellows.  I 
seemed  at  once  to  acquire  a  more  dignified  and  imposing  strut  while 
parading  the  spout,  and  at  the  same  time  a  capacity  for  looking  calmly 
into  space,  towards  the  place  of  my  ultimate  destiny,  far  removed  from 
this  narrow  terrestrial  sphere.  All  this  was  a  wonderful  transformation 
to  be  wrought  by  the  careless  boast  of  a  tawdry  gossip,  and  clearly 
proves  how  nicely  poised  are  the  affairs  of  life.  Such  incidents  are  not 
unknown  among  men,  as  the  word  of  a  fool  has  been  known  to  arrest 
the  overthrow  of  a  kingdom. 


254  PUBLIC  AND  PRIVATE  LIFE  OF  ANIMALS. 

Among  other  things,  it  occurred  to  me,  since  Nature  has  gone  out 
of  her  way  to  make  me  what  I  am,  I  must  be  a  poet.  I  can  hardly 
explain  the  process  of  reasoning  which  led  to  this  belief;  for  all  that, 
the  bejief  became  so  rooted  in  my  brain  that  I  must  needs  jot  down 
my  inspiration.  It  is  universally  acknowledged  that  the  first  step 
to  be  taken  towards  becoming  a  great  poet  is  to  look  like  one.  I 
accordingly  studied  to  look  genius  all  over,  and  the  result  was,  I  was 
accepted  as  my  own  estimate.  Next  I  determined  to  go  in  for  classical 
verse,  and  bring  out  a  poem  in  forty-eight  cantos,  so  framed  as  to 
apprise  the  universe  of  my  existence.  I  shall  deplore  my  isolation  in 
such  a  manner  as  to  stir  up  the  envy  of  the  happiest  beings  on  earth. 
Since  Heaven  has  refused  me  a  mate,  I  shall  utterly  condemn  the  law 
which  divides  the  bird  creation  into  families,  each  having  its  own 
distinctive  attributes.  I  will  cry  down  everything — prove  that  grapes 
are  sour,  that  Nightingales  sing  one  into  despair,  and  that  Blackbirds 
have  fallen  away  from  their  primeval  whiteness.  But  first  I  must  lay 
hold  of  a  good  rhyming  companion,  a  handy-book  to  lift  me  out  of  the 
horrors  of  fishing  for  words  of  the  same  sound.  It  will  also  be  necessary 
to  establish  about  my  person  a  retinue  of  needy  journalists  and  authors 
as  an  exhaustless  source  of  inspiration,  in  order  to  deluge  the  world 
with  rhymes  copied  from  the  strophes  of  Chaucer,  and  with  plays  decked 
out  from  the  sentiments  of  Shakespeare.  Thus  shall  I  ease  my  over- 
burdened soul,  make  all  the  Tomtits  cry,  the  Ringdoves  coo,  and  the 
old  Owls  screech.  Above  all,  one  must  prove  one's  self  inexorable 
to  the  sweet  sentiment  of  love.  In  vain  shall  I  be  waylaid  and 
entreated  to  have  compassion  on  maidenly  hearts  melted  by  my  song. 
My  manuscripts  shall  be  sold  for  their  weight  in  gold,  my  books  shall 
cross  the  seas,  fame  and  fortune  shall  everywhere  follow  me.  In  short, 
I  shall  be  a  perfectly  exceptional  bird,  an  eccentric,  and  at  the  same 
time  brilliant  writer,  received  with  open  arms,  courted,  admired,  and 
thoroughly  detested  by  a  thousand  rivals. 

VII. 

An  interval  of  six  weeks  introduced  my  first  work  to  the  world, 
which  turned  out,  as  I  promised  myself  it  should,  a  poem  in  forty-eight 
cantos.  It  was  slightly  marred  by  a  few  negligences,  the  result  of 
prodigious  fertility  of  brain  and  the  inability  of  my  pen  to  keep  pace 
with  my  inspiration.  Nevertheless,  I  wisely  concluded  that  the  public, 


HISTORY  OF  A   WHITE  BLACKBIRD.  255 

accustomed  as  they  are  in  modern  times  to  all  that  is  swift  in  thought 
and  action,  would  shield  me  from  reproach.  The  success  of  this,  my 
pristine  effort,  was  simply  as  unparalleled  as  it  was  thoroughly  deserved. 
The  subject  of  the  poem  was  my  noble  self;  in  this  respect  adhering  to 
the  prevailing  custom,  I  related  my  sufferings  and  adventures,  and  put 
the  reader  in  possession  of  a  thousand  domestic  details  of  the  most 
piquant  interest.  The  description  of  my  mother's  nest  filled  no  less 
than  fourteen  cantos.  With  the  most  graphic  minuteness  were  noted 
the  number  of  straws,  grasses,  and  leaves  of  which  it  was  composed, 
the  whole  being  idealised  by  the  tints  and  reflections  of  poetic  genius. 
I  displayed  the  inside  and  the  outside,  the  bottom  and  the  brim,  the 
graceful  curves  and  inclined  planes  and  angles,  gradually  leading  the 
reader  up  to  the  grand  theme  of  the  contents — the  remains  of  flies,  may- 
bugs,  and  grubs  which  supplied  the  dainty  fare  of  our  home.  Thus 
ascending,  I  reserved,  with  true  poetic  art,  the  dramatic  incidents  of 
my  life  for  the  grand  denotement. 

Europe  was  moved  by  the  apparition  of  my  book,  and  eagerly 
devoured  its  thrilling  revelations.  How  could  it  be  otherwise  1  I 
had  not  only  laid  bare  the  facts  of  my  existence,  but  pictured  the 
dreams  which  disturbed  my  repose  for  many  years,  even  introducing 
an  ode  composed  in  the  yet  unbroken  egg.  Of  course  I  did  not 
neglect  the  subject  which  interests  every  one — that  is,  the  future  of 
humanity.  This  problem,  which  for  a  moment  had  arrested  my 
attention,  was  dealt  with,  and  dashed  off  in  outline,  giving  universal 
satisfaction. 

Every  day  brought  its  tribute  of  congratulatory  letters  and  anony- 
mous love  declarations,  while  my  door  was  besieged  by  newspaper 
correspondents  and  Western  tourists  seeking  an  interview.  All 
personal  intercourse  I  positively  declined,  until  forced  to  make  an 
exception  to  a  Blackbird  from  Senegal  and  another  from  China,  who 
announced  themselves  as  relatives  of  my  own. 

"Ah,  sir,"  they  said,  nearly  choking  me  with  their  embraces,  "you 
are  indeed  a  noble  bird.  How  admirably  you  have  painted  in  your 
immortal  lines  the  profound  sufferings  of  an  unknown  genius  !  If  we 
are  not  already  thoroughly  misunderstood,  we  should  become  so  after 
reading  you.  How  deeply  we  sympathise  with  your  griefs  and 
your  sublime  scorn  of  vulgar  opinion.  Our  own  experience,  sire,  has 
made  us  familiar  with  all  the  troubles  of  which  you  sing.  Here  are 
two  sonnets  we  humbly  pray  you  to  accept  as  a  token  of  our  worship." 


256  PUBLIC  AND  PRIVATE  LIFE  OF  ANIMALS. 

"Here  is  besides,"  added  the  Chinese,  "a  song  composed  by  my 
wife  on  a  passage  in  your  preface.  She  seems  to  have  caught  wonder- 
fully the  inspiration  which  it  breathes." 

"  Gentlemen,"  I  replied,  "  you  seem  to  be  gifted  persons  endowed 
with  sentiments  that  are  a  credit  to  your  nations,  but  permit  me  to 
inquire  the  reason  of  your  manifest  melancholy  1 " 

"  Ah,  sir,  see  how  I  am  formed.  My  plumage,  it  is  true,  is  pleasant 
to  behold ;  it  is  not  without  the  tinge  of  emerald  green,  the  glory  of 
Ducks  and  dupes.  For  all  that,  my  beak  is  too  short  and  my  claws  too 
long,  and  whoever  saw  such  a  frightful  tail  as  mine  ?  I  am  nearly 
all  tail.  Is  it  not  enough  to  give  one  the  blues  1 " 

"As  for  me,  sir,"  said  John  Chinaman,  "my  misfortune  is  a  still 
more  painful  one.  My  comrade's  tail  sweeps  the  streets,  while  the 
vulgar  point  the  finger  of  scorn  at  me  because  I  have  only  a  stump." 

"Gentlemen,"  I  replied,  "  I  pity  you  with  all  my  heart.  It  is 
always  painful  to  have  too  much  or  too  little  of  anything,  no  matter 
what  it  is.  But  allow  me  to  tell  you  that  in  our  museums  there  are 
many  examples  of  your  class  who  have  been  stuffed  and  preserved  in 
peace  for  years.  My  own  case  is  infinitely  worse  than  yours  put 
together.  I  have  the  misfortune  to  be  a  lettered  bird,  a  genius,  and 
the  only  bird  of  my  kind.  In  spite  of  my  resolution  to  remain  single, 
the  return  of  spring-time  caused  me  much  uneasiness,  and  an  event  as 
unexpected  as  it  was  welcome  decided  my  future.  I  received  a  letter 
from  a  young  white  Merle  in  London.  It  ran  thus  :— 

"'I  have  read  your  poem,  and  the  devotion  it  inspired  has  con- 
strained me  to  offer  you  my  hand  and  fortune.  God  created  us  for 
each  other.  I  am  like  you,  for  I  am  a  white  Merle.' 

"  My  surprise  and  joy  may  be  imagined.  A  white  Merle  !  Is  it 
possible  ?  I  hastened  to  reply  to  the  charming  note — equal  in  terse- 
ness and  fathomless  sentiment  to  a  love  message  in  the  second  column 
of  the  Times.  I  besought  the  fair  unknown  to  come  at  once  to  Paris, 
the  refuge  of  romance-stricken  young  ladies.  My  reply  had  the  desired 
effect ;  she  came  at  once,  or  rather  soon  after  her  second  letter,  which 
informed  me  that  she  would  not  bother  her  parents  with  details. 
It  was  better  to  tell  them  nothing,  as  they  might  deem  it  necessary  to 
send  an  old  carrion  Crow  to  look  into  my  character. 

"  Sh£  came  at  last.  Oh,  joy !  she  was  the  loveliest  Merle  in  the 
world.  Was  it  possible  that  a  creature  so  charming  had  lived  and 
been  reared  for  me]  All  my  father's  curses,  and,  above  all,  my 


HISTORY  OF  A   WHITE  BLACKBIRD. 


257 


258  PUBLIC  AND  PRIVATE  LIFE  OF  ANIMALS. 

sufferings  were  welcome,  since  Heaven  had  reserved  such  an  unexpected 
consolation  for  me.  Till  to-day  I  thought  myself  doomed  to  an  eternal 
solitariness,  but  now  I  feel,  while  gazing  on  my  lovely  bride,  all  the 
nobler  qualities  of  a  father  fully  developed  within  me.  Accept  my 
claw,  fair  one,  let  us  wed  in  the  Anglo-Saxon  fashion,  and  start  for 
Switzerland. 

"  Nay,"  replied  my  love,  "  our  wedding  must  be  on  a  truly  magnifi- 
cent scale,  all  the  Blackbirds  of  good  birth  must  be  invited.  Birds  in 
our  position  ought  to  observe  the  nicest  ceremony,  and  not  wed  like 
water-spout  cats.  I  have  brought  a  provision  of  bank-notes  with  me. 
Arrange  your  invitations,  and  spare  no  cost  in  ordering  the  feast.  I 
am  of  French  origin  and  love  display." 

Blindly  yielding  to  the  wishes  of  my  charmer,  our  wedding  was  of 
extraordinary  brilliancy.  Ten  thousand  flies  were  slaughtered  for  the 
feast,  and  we  received  the  nuptial  benediction  from  an  old  father 
Cormorant,  archbishop  in  partibus,  and  the  happy  day's  festivities  con- 
cluded with  a  splendid  ball. 

The  more  I  studied  the  character  of  my  wife,  the  greater  became  my 
love.  She  combined  in  her  dainty  person  every  imaginable  grace  of 
body  and  mind.  Only  she  was  given  to  gossip,  which  I  attributed  to 
the  influence  of  the  English  fog,,  and  never  had  a  moment's  doubt  that 
our  genial  climate  would  dissipate  this  little  cloud. 

There  was  some  mystery  hedging  her  round,  which  troubled  me  with 
grave  forebodings.  She  used  to  shut  herself  up  with  her  maids,  under 
lock  and  key,  for  hours  together,  engaged,,  so  she  said,  at  her  toilet. 
Husbands  as  a  rule  have  no  patience  with  such  proceedings.  More 
than  a  score  of  times  have  I  knocked  at  my  wife's  door  without  receiv- 
ing the  slightest  response.  One  day  I  insisted  with  such  violence  that 
she  was  compelled  to  open  the  door,  but  not  without  favouring  me 
with  a  sample  of  her  temper.  On  entering,  the  first  thing  that  met  my 
gaze  was  a  huge  bottle  of  a  sort  of  paste  made  up  of  flour  and  white- 
wash. I  inquired  of  my  wife  what  she  used  that  stuff  for,  to  which  she 
replied,  it  was  a  mixture  for  chilblains.  This  seemed  rather  strange, 
yet  how  could  so  charming  a  creature  inspire  me  with  anything  but 
confidence. 

Up  to  the  present  time  I  had  remained  ignorant  of  the  fact  that  my 
wife  had  cultivated  letters.  Imagine  my  joy  on  discovering  that  she  was 
the  author  of  a  romance  modelled  after  the  style  of  the  illustrious  Sir 
Walter  Scott.  I  was  then  not  only  the  husband  of  an  incomparable 


HISTORY  OF  A   WHITE  BLACKBIRD. 


259 


beauty,  but  of  a  truly  gifted  companion.    From  that  instant  we  worked 


==-=^=^    **<***• 


together ;  while  I  composed  my  poems,  she  covered  reams  of  paper  and 


260  PUBLIC  AND  PRIVATE  LIFE  OF  ANIMALS. 

displayed  the  rare  gift  of  listening  to  my  recitations  without  pausing  in 
her  task  of  composition.  She  composed  her  romances  with  a  facility 
almost  equal  to  my  own,  always  choosing  subjects  of  rare  dramatic 
value;  homicides,  murders,  and  highway  robberies,  taking  care  in 
passing,  to  shoot  poisoned  shafts  at  the  Government  by  advocating  the 
cause  of  the  Merula  vulgaris.  In  a  word,  no  efforts  were  too  great 
for  her  mind,  or  tricks  for  her  modesty.  Never  had  she  need  to  cross 
through  a  line,  or  lay  her  plans  before  beginning  to  work. 

One  day  while  my  wife  was  toiling  with  unusual  ardour,  she  per- 
spired freely,  and  to  my  horror  I  beheld  a  black  patch  on  her  back. 
"Bless  my  soul,  dear !  "  I  said,  "  what  is  that  ?  Are  you  plague-stricken  1 
Are  you  ill  ?  "  She  at  first  seemed  frightened  and  speechless,  but  her 
knowledge  of  the  world  soon  restored  her  habitual  self-composure,  and 
she  replied  that  it  was  a  spot  of  ink,  a  stain  to  which  she  was  subject 
in  moments  of  inspiration.  Inwardly  I  was  greatly  troubled.  Does 
my  wife  lose  her  whiteness  ?  was  a  question  which  cost  me  many  wake- 
ful nights.  The  paste  bottle  rose  like  a  phantom  before  me.  Oh 
heavens  !  what  doubts.  Can  this  celestial  creature,  after  all,  only  be  a 
painting,  a  work  of  art  ?  Is  she  varnished  to  deceive  me  1  Had  I  been 
wooed  and  won  by  a  mixture  of  flour  and  whitewash  1  Haunted  by 
doubt,  I  took  measures  to  lay  the  apparition  by  investing  in  a  baro- 
meter, and  watching  for  signs  of  coming  rain.  I  planned  to  decoy  my 
wife  some  doubtful  Sunday  into  the  country,  and  try  the  effect  of  an 
impromptu  wash,  but  we  were  in  the  middle  of  July,  and  the  weather 
provokingly  fine.  Real  happiness,  and  long  habit  of  writing,  had 
much  increased  my  sensitiveness.  While  at  work  it  sometimes  hap- 
pened that  my  affections  were  stronger  than  my  inspiration,  and  I  gave 
way  to  tears,  while  waiting  for  my  rhyme.  My  wife  loved  these  rare 
occasions,  and  strove  to  soothe  my  masculine  weakness. 

One  evening  while  dashing  through  my  writing  according  to  Boileu's 
precept,  my  heart  opened.  "  Oh  thou,  my  queen  ! "  I  said,  "  thou  my 
only  truly  loved  one,  thou  without  whom  my  life  is  a  dream,  thou 
whose  look,  whose  smile,  fills  my  world  with  light.  Life  of  my  heart  ! 
dost  thou  know  the  height,  the  breadth,  the  depth  of  my  love  1  Before 
thou  earnest  to  me  my  lot  was  that  of  an  exiled  orphan,  now  it  is  that 
of  a  king.  In  my  poor  breast  thine  image  shall  be  enshrined  till  death. 
All !  All  my  hopes  and  aspirations  are  centred  in  thee." 

While  thus  raving,  I  wept  over  my  wife,  and  as  each  tear-drop  fell 
upon  her  back,  she  visibly  changed  colour.  Feathers,  one  by  one,  not 


HISTORY  OF  A   WHITE  BLACKBIRD.  261 

even  black,  but  red  appeared — she  must  have  coloured  red  to  fill  some 
other  role.  Soon  I  found  myself  vis-a-vis  with  a  creature  unpasted, 
unfloured,  and  nothing  more  than  a  vulgar  Blackbird.  How  dare  I 
publish  my  shame !  I  plucked  up  courage  and  resolved  to  quit  the  gay 
world,  to  give  up  my  career,  to  flee  to  a  desert,  if  that  were  possible,  to 
shun  the  sight  of  every  living  creature. 

IX. 

I  flew  away  broken-hearted,  and  the  wind,  the  good  angel  of  birds, 
wafted  me  on  its  wings  to  a  branch  at  Mortfontaine.  It  was  night, 
the  birds  were  asleep,  but  the  Nightingale  still  sang.  Alone  in  the  dark- 
ness his  heart  overflowed  with  his  song  to  God  for  His  goodness,  his 
breast  expanded  with  the  sacred  theme,  and  with  a  rapture  unfelt  by 
the  most  gifted  poets  who  sing  for  the  ears  of  men.  I  could  not  resist 
the  temptation  of  addressing  him. 

"  Happy  Nightingale,  you  sing  because  your  heart  is  bursting  with 
joy.  You  are  indeed  highly  favoured,  you  have  a  wife  and  little  ones 
which  you  sing  to  sleep  on  their  pillow  of  moss.  You  have  a  full  moon 
to  cheer  you,  plenty  to  eat,  and  no  journals  to  praise  or  condemn  you. 
Kubini  and  Rosini  are  as  nothing  to  you.  You  are  equal  to  the  one, 
and  divine  when  compared  with  the  other.  I,  sir,  have  wasted  my  life 
in  pursuing  the  empty  vanities  of  fame,  while  you  have  secured  real 
happiness  in  the  wood.  May  your  secret  be  learned?" 

"  Yes,"  replied  the  Nightingale,  "  but  it  is  not  what  you  imagine. 
My  wife  bothers  me,  I  do  not  love  her !  I  am  passionately  fond  of  the 
Hose ;  Sadi,  the  Persian,  has  spoken  of  it.  I  sing  all  night  to  her 
while  she  sleeps  and  is  deaf  to  my  praise.  Her  petals  are  closed  at 
this  hour.  She  cradles  an  old  Scarab,  and  when  the  gray  dawn  breaks 
sadly  over  the  wood,  and  my  eyes  are  closing  in  sleep,  then  she  will 
open  her  breast,  and  the  Bee  will  be  welcomed  with  the  dainty  pollen 
from  the  lips  of  her  lover. 


THE  QUEEN'?  HUJSBAND. 

THE  first  political  act  in  which  I  took  part  made  so 
deep  an  impression  on  me,  that  I  attribute  the  strange 
vicissitudes  of  my  life  to  its  influence.  Permit  me  to 
begin  my  narrative  without  further  introduction. 

I  had  reached  maturity  and  become  a  citizen  of  the 
hive,  when  one  morning  I  was  roused  by  a  knocking  at 
the  partition,  and  some  one  calling  on  me  by  name. 
,    "  What  is  wanted  1 "  I  inquired. 
"  Come  out  at  once  !  "  was  the  instant  rejoinder.     ' '  You  are  wanted. 
Monsieur  is  about  to  be  executed,  and  you  are  required  as  one  of  the 
guards  of  honour," 

These  awful  words,  which  I  scarcely  comprehended,  filled  me  with 
horror.  I  was,  for  all  that,  aware  beforehand  of  the  impending  doom 
of  Monsieur,  but  had  no  notion  that  my  services  would  be  required  at 
the  ghastly  ceremony. 

"  Here  I  am  ! "  I  exclaimed,  and  finishing  my  toilet  in  all  haste,  pre- 
cipitated myself  outside  the  hive,  a  prey  to  the  strongest  emotion.  I 
was  not  pale,  but  green  !  Monsieur  was  one  of  the  finest  drones  in  the 
hive,  rather  stout,  but,  withal,  well  made ;  his  physiognomy  was  full  of 
a  pleasing,  wistful,  and  yet  proudly  aristocratic  expression — as  novelists 
would  say — I  had  often  seen  him  accompany  the  queen  in  her  daily 
rounds  of  inspection,  tormenting  her  with  his  jokes,  helping  her  with 
his  foot,  sharing  with  her  the  prestige  of  sovereignty,  and  altogether 
appearing  to  be  the  happiest  of  princes,  and  most  beloved  of  husbands. 
The  people  loved  him  little,  but  feared  him  much,  he  had  the  queen's 
ear,  the  queen  had  publicly  kissed  his  forehead,  and  it  was  reported  by 
one  of  the  chamber  maids  that  Monsieur  was  soon  to  be  a  father. 
This  important  news  spread  around,  and  filled  each  cell  with  joy.  We 
saw  ourselves  transformed  into  nurses  surrounded  by  groups  of  children, 
giving  food  to  this  one,  rocking  that  one.  Already  in  each  chamber  a 
soft  couch  was  prepared  to  receive  the  new  coiner,  and  in  the  evening 


THE  QUEEN'S  HUSBAND. 


263 


before  going  to  sleep,  certain  flowers  had  been  pointed  out  as  those 


containing  the  sugar  which  would  yield  the  most  delicate  honey,  as  food 
for  the  youngsters  when  they  made  their  appearance. 

Our  expectations  were  confirmed.  Our  beloved  queen  laid  ten 
thousand  twin  eggs,  all  so  beautiful  that  it  was  impossible  to  choose 
between  them.  The  prince  was  radiant  with  joy,  and  spent  his  whole 
time  in  kissing  the  eggs  one  after  the  other.  I  had  witnessed  all  this, 


264  PUBLIC  AND  PRIVATE  LIFE  OF  ANIMALS. 

had  beheld  him  in  his  glory,  and  now,  I  was  rudely  awakened  to  see  him 
dragged  to  his  doom.  More  than  that,  oh  horror  !  I  was  chosen  to  be 
his  executioner.  The  prince,  under  the  dreadful  circumstances,  showed 
decided  reluctance  to  yield  up  his  life.  This  seemed  all  the  more 
pitiable  as  nature  had  deprived  him  of  either  offensive  or  defensive 
weapons.  He  was  completely  in  our  power. 

"  What  have  I  done  to  deserve  this  doom  ?  Oh,  my  queen,  grant  me 
but  one  hour!"  he  cried,  kneeling  before  her,  "but  half  an  hour,  nay, 
five  minutes.  I  have  revelations,  confessions  ..." 

"Make  haste!'"  said  the  queen,  striving  to  conceal  her  emotion; 
"  we  must  abide  by  the  law.  Away  with  him ;  put  an  end  to  him ; 
he  is  now  worse  than  useless." 

The  queen*  retired  to  her  chamber,,  still  full  of  souvenirs  of  the 
prince,,  and  in  an  instant  he  was- pierced  by  a  thousand  darts.  Should 
I  live  a  century,.  I  shall  never  forget  the  scene.  I  pretended  to  share 
in  the  outrage,,  yet  never  moved  my  sting  from  its  sheath.  Even 
among  the  most  advanced  communities-  there  are  barbarous  laws. 
Poor  Messieurs,,  poor  Messieurs  ! 

Of  these  Messieurs,,  vulgarly  called  Drones,,  there  are  from  five  to 
six  hundred  in  one  hive,  each  one  to  be  called  upon  to  mount  the 
steps  of  the  throne,,  and  to  pay  with  his  life  for  the  excess  of  honour 
thus  accorded  to  him..  The  prospect  of  a  tragic  end  gave  many  of 
them  sad  looks,  which  contrasted  with  the  natural  gaiety  of  their 
fellows.  One  could  mark  them  crawling  listless-ly  along  among  the 
thousands  of  orderly  workers  that  thronged  the  streets,  alleys,  and 
cells  of  the  city,  dejected  and  oppressed  by  their  coming  glory.  At 
the  slightest  noise  they  turned  round  tremblingly.  "  Is  the  queen 
calling  us  ? "  they  would  inquire,  and  speedily  they  hid  themselves 
away  among  the  crowd,  and,  escaping  from  the  hive,  sought  the 
freedom  of  fields  and  flowers. 

There  are  many  troubles  which  fall  to  the  lot  of  those  in  high  posi- 
tions. The  fat,  overfed  idlers  who  strut  about,  are  most  of  them 
merely  servants  and  dependants,  unworthy  of  the  vulgar  admiration 
lavished  on  them  by  the  working  class.  This  sentiment  of  aristocracy 
worship  is  a  common  folly  to  which  I  myself  have  been  subject,  and 
which  it  ill  befits  me  to  condemn.  Shall  I  confess  it?  I  madly  loved 
a  Drone.  Yes,  I  loved  him.  He  was  handsome  beyond  description. 
When  he  entered  the  corolla  of  a  flower,  I  trembled  lest  the  contact 
with  its  petals  should  spoil  his  beauty.  I  was  mad.  Platonic  love ; 


THE  QUEEN'S  HUSBAND.  265 

for  Nature  permitted  us  only  the  ideal,  impossible  love  of  the  poet, 
the  dream  of  the  artist.  I  loved  this  creature  simply  for  his  beauty. 

I  admired  the  blue  Dragon-fly  with  his  silken  wings,  as  I  watched 
him  skimming  over  the  grass  at  the  close  of  the  day.  I  had,  indeed, 
an  eye  for  everything  beautiful,  and  above  all,  for  my  superb 
Drone. 

One  day  I  found  him  half  drunk  with  honey,  lying  fast  asleep 
in  the  heart  of  a  lily  ;  his  face,  though  smeared  with  yellow  pollen, 
still  retained  its  noble  expression.  He  was  snoring  in  a  most  majestic 
and  regular  manner.  I  stood  for  a  moment,  quite  rooted  to  the  spot 
by  the  glorious  spectacle.  This  then,  I  thought,  is  a  future  husband 
of  our  queen  !  I  at  last  approached  him,  foolishly  curious  to  examine 
the  details  of  his  figure,  and  gently  touched  him,  when,  yawning, 
he  said — 

"  What  does  your  Majesty  want  now  1 " 

Then  looking  at  me,  he  perceived  his  mistake,  and  added  smiling — 

"  I  am  not  in  your  way,  my  child,  so  proceed  with  your  work,  and 
permit  me  to  rest  in  peace." 

There  must  have  been  a  subtle  odour  in  this  flower  which  stole  into 
my  head,  for  I  instantly  forgot  my  work,  and  remained  looking  at  him 
dreamily.  What  are  we  ?  I  thought.  Only  miserable  workers,  makers 
of  honey,  moulders  of  wax,  and  neuter  nurses  to  the  children  of  those 
magnificent  idlers  who  spend  their  days  in  sleeping  in  the  heart  of 
flowers,  and  dreaming  that  they  hear  the  silvery  tones  of  the  queen's 
voice  calling  them.  I  own  myself  ashamed  of  my  humble,  laborious 
calling.  How  could  he  Love  such  a  simple  drudge?  Were  I  even 
a  Wasp,  scouring  lanes  and  hedgerows,  and  annoying  wayfarers — 
careless,  coquettish,  unkind — always  armed,  offensive  and  useless ; 
perhaps  then  he  might  love  me.  Is  not  fear  the  beginning  of  love  ? 
Hence  is  it  not  a  means  of  seduction  ?  Such  thoughts,  and  a  thousand 
others,  were  buzzing  in  my  brain ;  still  my  admiration  only  became 
all  the  more  intense,  and  I  exclaimed,  in  spite  of  myself — 

"0  Prince,  most  handsome  Prince,  you  are  exceedingly  beau- 
tiful ! " 

"  All  right,"  replied  the  Prince,  "  I  know  it ;  my  position  requires 
it.  Pray  do  not  disturb  my  repose  ;  go  away,  like  a  good  fellow." 

This  strange  language  to  a  neuter  disturbed  me  not  a  little.  He 
evidently  did  not  even  know  my  sex,  far  less  my  love  for  him.  That 
which  charmed  me  most  was — I  scarce  dare  write  it — his  glorious 


266  PUBLIC  AND  PRIVATE  LIFE  OF  ANIMALS. 

idleness,  the  helplessness  of  his  fine  body,  and  insolent  coolness  of  his 
fine  language.  I  scorned  and  yet  loved  him.  I  knew  he  was  accus- 
tomed to  snore  daily  when  in  this  perfumed  spot;  I  therefore  got 
through  with  my  work  quickly,  and  made  the  flower  my  resort,  after 
dressing  the  little  ones  confided  to  my  care,  and  nearly  choking  them 
with  hasty  meals,  so  that  I  might  go  and  prepare  his  place,  and  sweep 
away  with  my  wings  any  yellow  powder  that  would  soil  his  coat.  If 
a  few  drops  of  water  had  gathered  in  the  corolla,  I  pierced  it  with  my 
stings  and  left,  so  that  my  master  might  repose  there  without  fear  of 
rheumatism. 

He  was  none  the  more  thankful ;  his  requirements  only  increased 
and  kept  pace  with  my  love  and  care  for  him.  He  would  smile,  bliss- 
fully stretching  himself,  and  request  me  to  mount  guard  outside  the 
flower,  so  that  no  common  insect  might  trouble  his  dreams.  It  tried 
my  temper,  yet  I  watched.  One  day  I  saw  him  coming ;  he  was  very 
pale,  but  his  walk  was  steadier  than  usual. 

"  What  is  the  matter,  Prince  ? "  I  inquired  anxiously. 

"  Go  away,  little  one.  I  have  need  of  air,  and  the  sun  will  not  mind 
seeing  me  face  to  face  to-day." 

I  trembled  for  the  misfortune  that  seemed  to  have  overtaken  him. 

"  To-morrow  !  to-morrow ! ! "  he  cried,  making  gestures  which  de- 
noted the  trouble  of  his  mind.  "To-morrow  I  shall  be  the  queen's 
husband ! " 

A  mist  obscured  my  eyes  ;  deep  resentment  filled  my  heart.  I  was 
mad  with  jealousy. 

"  From  to-day  till  to-morrow  many  things  may  happen  ! "  I  exclaimed. 

"  Silence  !  how  dare  you  in  my  presence  proclaim  your  seditions  ? " 

"  No,"  I  said,  "  you  shall  never  wear  the  crown  !  "  I  flew  at  him,  and 
profiting  by  a  momentary  turn  of  his  head,  pierced  him  to  the  heart 
with  my  sting.  Hardly  had  he  breathed  his  last,  when  1  burst  into 
remorseful  tears. 

I  returned  to  the  hive  to  find  everything  in  the  greatest  disorder. 
The  entire  community,  a  prey  to  the  deepest  agitation,  were  jostling 
and  knocking  each  other  about. 

"  What  has  happened  1 "  I  inquired  of  the  first  Bee  I  met. 

"  What  happened  1  "  he  replied.  "  Why,  one  of  the  Drones  is 
missing. 

'•'  How  is  that  known  1 "  I  continued  with  much  fear. 


THE  QUEEN'S  HUSBAND.  267 

"  At  the  evening  call  there  were  only  five  hundred  and  ninety-nine 
Drones  present  The  queen  has  had  a  nervous  attack,  and  one  is  lost 
in  conjecture  as  to  what  will  be  the  result." 

"  A  dreadful  affair ! "  I  replied,  and  hastened  to  mingle  with  the 
crowd. 

The  queen  was  inconsolable,  and  so  was  I  myself,  for  the  space  of 
two  whole  days. 


THE   I_(OVE£   OF   Two    lN3ECTg. 

PRESENTED   AS  AN  EXAMPLE    TO    WISE  MEN* 


SENTIMENTAL  HISTORY  OF  ANIMALS. 

I. 
PROFESSOR  GRANARIUS. 

"CERTAINLY,"  said  Professor 
Granarius,  one  evening  while 
seated  beneath  his  limes,  "  no- 
thing is  more  curious  than  the 
conduct  of  Jarpeado.  In  truth, 
if  the  French  followed  his  ex- 
ample, we  should  have  no  need 
of  codes,  mandates,  sermons, 
or  social  gatherings,  for  the 
advancement  of  mankind.  No- 
thing proves  more  conclusively 
that  reason  alone — the  attribute 
of  which  men  are  so  proud — is 
the  prime  cause  of  all  the  evils 
of  Society." 

Miss  Anna  Granarius,  who 
was  devotedly  attached  to  a  poor  student,  could  not  help  blushing 
deeply,  for  her  skin  was  fair  and  delicate.  Anna  was  the  typical 

*  The  distinguished  animal  to  whom  we  owe  this  history — designed  to  show  that 
the  creatures  so  boldly  named  stupid  by  men,  and  in  reality  superior  to  human 
beings — desires  to  remain  anonymous.  It  may  nevertheless  be  said,  that  he  is  a 
creature  who  held  a  very  high  place  in  the  affections  of  Miss  Anna  Granarius,  and 
that  he  belongs  to  the  sect  of  reasoning  animals,  for  whose  members  she  had  the 
greatest  esteem. — ED. 


THE  LOVES  OF  TWO  INSECTS.  269 

heroine  of  a  Scotch  novel,  the  profound  depths  of  her  blue  eyes 
almost  betokening  "Second-sight."  By  the  candid  and  caught  look 
of  the  professor,  she  perceived  he  had  said  one  of  those  foolish  things 
which  frequently  fall  from  the  lips  of  scientific  dreamers.  Leaving 
her  father  to  follow  out  his  dream  on  the  depravity  of  human  reason, 
she  bent  her  steps  to  a  favourite  spot  in  the  Jardin  des  Plantes  which 
was  closed  for  the  night,  as  the  month  was  July  and  the  hour  half- 
past  eight. 

"  What  does  my  father  mean  to  say  about  this  Jarpeado  who  turns 
his  head  ? "  she  inwardly  inquired,  seating  herself  outside  a  hothouse. 
Pretty  Anna  remained  pensively  rooted  to  the  seat,  while  her  fcther, 
absorbed  in  his  own  thoughts,  never  missed  her  presence.  The  maiden 
was  endowed  with  a  highly  strung  nervous  temperament  which,  had 
she  lived  four  hundred  years  ago,  would  have  brought  her  to  the  stake 
in  the  Place  de  Greve.  But  happily  for  her,  she  was  born  in  more 
enlightened  times. 

II. 

That  which  Prince  Jarpeado  found  most  extraordinary  in  Paris,  was 
himself,  like  the  dodge  of  G6nes  at  Versailles.  He  was  undoubtedly  a 
fine  fellow,  though  small,  remarkable  for  the  classic  beauty  of  his 
features.  His  legs  might  have  been  doubtful,  a  trifle  or  so  bandy,  but 
they  were  encased  in  boots  garnished  with  precious  stones  and  fixed 
up  on  three  sides  a  la  poulaine.  On  his  back,  as  was  the  usage  of 
Castraine,  in  his  country,  he  carried  a  cape  which  cast  into  the  shade 
those  worn  by  the  ecclesiastics  of  Charles  X.  It  was  covered  with 
aberesques  of  diamonds  on  a  ground  of  lapis-lazuli,  divided  into  two 
equal  parts  like  the  two  flaps  of  a  trunk.  These  flaps  were  fastened 
by  a  gold  clasp,  and  displayed  like  the  priestly  surplice,  in  token  of 
dignity,  for  he  was  prince  of  Coccirubri.  He  wore  a  pretty  necklace  of 
sapphire  and  two  aigrettes  infinitely  finer  than  any  of  the  feathers  in 
the  caps  of  European  potentates  worn  on  State  occasions. 

Anna  thought  him  charming,  only  his  two  arms  were  rather  short 
and  slender  for  embracing.  This  slight  defect,  however,  was  carried  off 
by  the  rich  carnation  of  his  royal  blood.  Anna  soon  found  out  what 
her  father  meant,  by  witnessing  one  of  those  mysterious  things  which 
pass  unnoticed  in  this  terrible  Paris,  at  once  so  full  and  so  empty,  so 
foolish  and  so  wise,  so  preoccupied  and  so  much  on  the  alert,  yet 
always  so  fantastic. 


270  PUBLIC  AND  PRIVATE  LIFE  OF  ANIMALS. 


III. 

The  three  thousand  windows  of  this  glass  palace  exchanged  glances 
of  moonlight  so  bright  that  the  edifice  seemed  glowing  at  a  white 
heat,  ablaze  with  the  fire,  kindled  by  the  rising  orb  which  so  fre- 
quently deceives  the  traveller.  The  cactus  was  breathing  forth  a  store 
of  strange  odour,  the  vanilla  its  sweet  perfume.  The  volcaneria  dis- 
tilled the  vinous  heat  from  its  tufts,  the  jessamine  exhaled  a  poetic 
fragrance,  the  magnolia  intoxicated  the  air,  while  the  aroma  of  the 
datura  advanced  with  the  pomp  of  a  Persian  king,  and  the  powerful 
Chinese  lily  sent  her  breath  onward  with  an  overpowering  force  that 
assimilated  all  the  other  odours  of  the  flowery  scene. 

The  perfume-laden  air  stood  motionless  to  feast  upon  the  spectacle 
presented  by  a  troop  of  midnight  spirits,  as  they  rose  from  an  en- 
chanted spot  shaded  by  a  grove  of  bananas,  whose  wide-spreading 
leaves  formed  a  canopy  gilded  by  a  phosphorescent  light.  Soft  streams 
of  music  floated  around,  gently  awakening  the  spirits  to  their  nocturnal 
revels.  Suddenly  the  lights  fell  on  a  patch  of  green  cactus,  revealing 
the  gay  form  of  Prince  Jarpeado  exposed  to  the  witchery  of  the  fairy 
queen  and  her  gorgeous  attendants,  robed  in  costumes  so  aerial  as  to 
disclose  the  full  charms  of  their  lovely  forms.  Phantom-Crickets  sang 
love-ditties  in  the  daintiest  retreats,  while  a  choir  of  winged  musicians 
chanted  the  praises  of  the  prince,  who  stood  unmoved  by  the  seductive 
art  of  this  witching  band.  The  passion-imbued  glance  of  the  queen  fell, 
shivered  against  the  armour  of  Jarpeado' s  true  heart,  where,  enshrined 
in  all  its  artless  purity,  he  treasured  the  image  of  the  fair  Anna.  The 
music  ceased,  and  in  a  silvery  voice  the  queen,  radiant  with  an 
unearthly  beauty,  exclaimed — 

"  Jarpeado  !  Jarpeado  !  receive  the  homage  of  the  fairy  queen  whose 
heart  thou  hast  won." 

The  moment  was  enchanting.  The  perfumed  breeze  wooed  the 
flashed  cheek  of  the  prince,  and  whispered  love.  Jarpeado  stood 
irresolute.  It  was  but  for  an  instant,  when  rousing  himself  from  the 
subtle  influences  that  were  kindling  a  fire  of  unworthy  passion  in  his 
breast,  he  replied  — 

"Fair  spirit,  whose  unearthly  radiance  lays  siege  to  a  true  heart, 
and  who  with  cunning  and  skill  have  sought  out  the  weak  points  of 
my  armour,  all  thine  arts,  wiles,  arid  hellish  tricks  can  never  quench 
my  love  for  the  fair  Anna," 


THE  LOVES  OF  TWO  INSECTS. 


271 


272  PUBLIC  AND  PRIVATE  LIFE  OF  ANIMALS. 

Scarcely  had  the  last  word  escaped  his  lips,  when  the  weird  scene 
was  blotted  out  from  his  gaze,  and  a  ghastly  green  light  disclosed  a 
slimy  waste  alive  with  crawling  monads,  and  all  the  simplest  forms  of 
life.  The  balmy  air  was  chilled  and  its  fragrance  replaced  by  the 
noxious  breath  of  animal  decay.  A  flash  of  lightning  and  peal  of 
thunder  heralded  the  approach  of  a  monster  with  mouth  wide  open, 
dark  and  deep  as  the  bottomless  pit,  his  horns  erect,  his  tail  fiercely 
sweeping  the  waste ;  onward  he  came,  spreading  terror  around,  and 
leaving  death  in  his  train. 

This  was  the  Valvos,  which  preyed  like  cholera  on  the  people,  but 
the  prince  escaped,  saved  by  a  fair  maiden. 

"  Daughter  of  my  country ! "  he  exclaimed,  "  my  deliverer,  cruel 
destiny  stands  between  us  ;  I  cannot  wed  thee." 

The  scene  changed,  and  Anna  was  transported  unseen  to  the  attic  of 
her  lover,  the  poor  pupil  of  Granarius.  Bent  over  his  books,  for  a 
moment  he  raised  his  head,  crying  out — 

"  Oh  !  if  Anna  would  only  wait  for  me ;  in  three  years  I  shall  have 
the  cross  of  the  Legion  of  Honour.  I  feel,  I  know,  I  shall  solve  this 
entomological  problem,  and  succeed  in  transporting  to  Algeria  the 
culture  of  the  Cocus  Cacti.  Good  heavens  !  that  would  be  a  conquest." 

Anna  awoke  and  found  herself  in  bed,  she  had  dreamed  a  dream. 
But  who  was  this  Jarpeado  of  whom  her  father  constantly  spoke  ? 
She  hastened  to  ask  the  old  professor.  It  was  necessary  to  be  careful, 
she  must  watch,  and  after  breakfast  seize  one  of  his  lucid  intervals ;  for 
in  his  normal  condition,  her  father's  mind  was  absent  exploring  the 
fathomless  depths  of  science.  Seated  at  the  breakfast  table  she 
exclaimed — 

"  Father !" — just  as  the  professor  was  putting  a  spoonful  of  salt  into 
his  coffee — "what  are  you  thinking  about  ?" 

"  Well,  Anna,  dear,  I  was  investigating  the  subject  of  monads,  or 
rather  the  nature  of  these  simple  inorganic  forms,  twelve  months  before 
birth,  and  I  come  to  the  conclusion  that " 

"  That  my  dear  father,  if  you  succeed  in  introducing  one  of  these 
ridiculous  creatures  to  the  scientists  of  Paris,  you  will  both  be 
decorated.  But  who,  tell  me,  is  this  Prince  Jarpeado  1  " 

"  Prince  Jarpeado  is  the  last  of  the  dynasty  of  the  Cactriane," 
replied  the  worthy  professor,  who  employed  allegory  in  addressing  his 
daughter,  forgetful  that  her  mind  had  matured,  and  she  had  ceased  to 
play  with  dolls ;  "  a  large  country,  basking  in  the  sun's  rays,  and 


THE  LOVES  OF  TWO  INSECTS. 


273 


274  PUBLIC  AND  PRIVATE  LIFE  OF  ANIMALS. 

having  a  longitude  and  latitude — matters  these  you  do  not  comprehend. 
The  country  is  populous  as  China,  and  like  that  unhappy  land,  subject 
to  periodical  inundations,  not  of  cold  water,  but  of  hot  water,  let 
loose  by  the  hand  of  man.  This  depopulates  the  land,  but  nature  has 
so  provided  that  a  single  prince  may  alone  repair  the  damage.  This 
reminds  me  of  something  I  discovered  ten  years  ago  in  connection 
with  Infusoria,  the  Rotafera  of  Cuvier,  they  " 

"  Yes.  But  the  prince,  the  prince !"  cried  Anna,  fearing  lest  her  father 
should  fall  into  a  reverie  and  she  would  hear  nothing  more. 

"  The  prince,"  replied  the  old  professor,  giving  a  touch  to  his  wig, 
"  escaped — thanks  to  the  French  Government — from  the  destroying 
flood,  and  he  has  been  brought  up  without  consulting  his  future,  away 
from  his  fair  realm.  He  was  transported  in  his  undeveloped  form  to 
my  illustrious  predecessor  Sacrampe — the  inventor  of  Ducks. 

"  Jarpeado  came  here  at  the  request  of  the  Government  on  a  bed  of 
dust,  made  up  of  millions  of  his  father's  subjects,  embalmed  by  the 
Indians  of  Gualaca,  not  one  of  the  nymphs  of  Rubens,  not  one  of 
Mieris'  pretty  girls  has  been  able  to  dispense  with  the  mummies  of  this 
race.  Yes,  my  child,  whole  populations  deck  the  lips  which  smile  upon 
or  defy  you  from  each  canvas.  How  would  you  like  the  freak  of  some 
giant  painter  who  would  take  generations  of  human  beings  on  his 
palette,  crushing  them  to  produce  the  colours  of  an  immense  fresco  ? 
Heaven  forbid  that  it  should  be  so  ! "  Here  the  professor  fell  into  a 
profound  reverie  as  was  his  wont  after  uttering  the  word  heaven. 

The  pupil  of  Granarius,  Jules  Sauval,  entered.  If  you  have  ever 
met  one  of  those  modest  young  fellows  devoted  to  science,  knowing 
much,  yet  possessing  a  certain  simplicity,  which,  although  charming, 
does  not  prevent  him  from  being  the  most  ambitious  creature  in  the 
world,  an  innocent  who  would  turn  the  earth  upside  down  about  a 
hyo'ide  bone,  or  a  univalve  shell.  If  you  have  seen  a  youth  of  this 
type,  then  you  know  Jules  Sauval.  He  was  as  candid  as  he  was 
p0or — candour  goes  when  fortune  comes. — He  venerated  Professor 
Granarius  as  a  father,  and  admired  in  him  the  disciple ,  of  the 
great  Geoffroy  St.  Hilaire.  Blessed  be  science,  Jules  Sauval  would 
have  just  been  the  same,  even  supposing  the  professor  had  no  pretty 
daughter  Anna.  He  was  a  second  Jarpeado  alive  among  the  dry 
bones  and  debris  of  antiquity.  Just  as  the  Coccus  cacti — the  subjects  of 
Jarpeado — had  been  crushed  to  lend  a  glow  of  life  to  the  Lfinest  works 
of  art,  so  the  young  student  identified  himself  with  defunct  organisms  in 


THE  LOVES  OF  TWO  INSECTS.  275 


order  that  science  might  all  the  more  faithfully  picture  the  forms  arid 
colours  of  pre-historic  life.  Like  Jarpeado,  Jules  Sauval  had  his  loves, 
he  admired  the  fair  Anna  as  a  perfect  type  of  a  highly-organised  sensi- 
tive animal — so  he  said. 

In  common  with  the  professor  he  was  intent  upon  uniting  this  red 
prince  to  some  analagous  creature.  The  men  of  science  had  come 
down  to  the  level  of  the  members  of  the  Chamber  of  Deputies,  and 
talked  them  into  erecting  a  spacious  hothouse  to  contain  the  finest 
plants  of  the  tropics.  Within  its  glass  walls  the  illustrious  professor 
has  found  a  solitary  living  specimen  of  the  Coccus  cacti — Cochineal — 
Jarpeado,  whose  habits  they  had  studied  so  profoundly  as  to  discover 
that  the  prince  was  endowed  with  pride  of  race,  and  passion  of  senti- 
ment, opposed  to  his  union  with  any  partner  saving  a  princess  of  his 
own  vermilion  blood. 

"Alas!  Professor,"  exclaimed  Jules,  "I  have  just  left  the  glass- 
house, and  all  is  lost !  There  is  no  possibility  of  uniting  Jarpeado  to 
any  living  creature,  he  refused  the  Coccus  ficus  caricce.  I  had  them 
under  our  best  microscope." 

''  Ah,  you  horrid  creature  !  "  cried  Anna.  "This  is  then  a  prince  of 
the  insect  world,  and  yet  his  history  is  interesting.  I  might  have 
known  he  was  no  human  being,  since  you  say  he  will  die  faithful  to 
his  first  love." 

"  Hush,  child,"  said  Granarius,  "  I  fail  to  note  the  difference  between 
dying  faithful  and  unfaithful,  when  it  is  a  question  of  dying." 

"  You  will  never  understand  me,  sir,"  said  Anna,  in  a  tone  which 
startled  the  mild  professor,  "  and  as  for  you,  Mr.  Jules,  all  your  science 
and  all  your  charms  will  never  tempt  the  prince  to  prove  unfaithful. 
You,  sir,  shall  never  be  capable  of  love  such  as  his.  A  little  less  science 
and  a  trifle  more  common  sense  would  have  suggested  keeping  him 
among  the  dust  of  his  defunct  ancestors,  where,  perchance,  he  left  his 
living  partner,  or  will  find  another  of  red-royal  blood. 

The  professor  and  his  pupil  elated  by  this  marvellous  suggestion 
hastened  to  replace  Jarpeado  in  the  dust  from  which  he  had  been 
taken. 

Alas  !  sighed  Anna,  Jules  loves  me  not,  else  he  would  have  lingered 
with  me  to  tell  his  love.  I  made  the  path  clear  for  him.  Yet  he 
perceived  it  not,  but  has  gone  with  my  father  to  speculate  on  the 
introduction  of  this  scarlet  Coccus  cacti  dynasty  into  Algeria.  Follow- 
ing them  to  the  large  hothouse  in  the  Jardin  des  Plantes,  Anna 


276  PUBLIC  AND  PRIVATE  LIFE  OF  ANIMALS. 


THE  LOVES  OF  TWO  INSECTS.  277 

observed  her  father  consigning  the  small  paper  of  Coccus  cacti  dust  into 
the  centre  of  the  first  nopal  that  had  flowered. 

A  jealous  Englishman,  witness  of  this  scientific  operation,  remarked 
in  passing,  "  This  old  fool  uses  the  plant  as  a  portfolio  ! " 

"  Heat  the  house  well,"  cried  Granarius,  as  he  fell  into  a  profound 
reverie-,  leaving  his  daughter  and  Jules  to  talk  of  love,  or  science. 

"  So,  Mr.  Jules,  you  have  ceased  to  love  me,"  said  Anna. 

"  Nay,"  replied  Jules,  "  I  do  not  think  you  do  me  justice,  but  I  have 
come  to  the  conclusion  that  sentiment,  or  passion,  in  all  animals, 
follows  a  fixed  natural  law,  and  being  divided  between  two  creatures 
ought  to  form  a  perfect  equation." 

"  Oh,  infernal  science !  thus  to  bamboozle  a  poor  brain.  Probably 
your  sentiments  are  established  on  the  equation  of  dowry,  and  you 
have  yet  to  learn  what  love  is,  Mr.  Jules.  If  you  do  not  take  care, 
science  will  claim  possession,  not  only  of  your  soul,  but  of  your  body, 
and  you  will  become  a  beast  like  Nebuchadnezzar.  History  relates 
that  he  assumed  this  form  because  he  devoted  seven  years  to  zoology 
in  classing  the  different  species,  without  once  pausing  to  trim  his  beard. 
Six  hundred  years  hence  it  will  be  said  of  certain  zoologists  that  they 
were  advanced  types  of  the  Orang-outang  who  stuck  up  for  their  race, 
and  for  themselves  as  examples  of  progression." 

Jules  was  called  away  by  the  professor,  while  Anna,  turning  to  a 
huge  microscope,  beheld  a  new  world  of  creatures,  invisible  to  the 
naked  eye.  There  she  saw  the  Volvoce  engaged  in  a  steeple-chase, 
mounted  on  an  animal  making  for  the  winning  post.  Many  elegant 
Cercairse  were  on  the  course,  the  prize  being  infinitely  superior  to  that 
of  the  Derby ;  for  the  winner  was  to  feast  on  the  Vorticella,  at  once 
animals  and  flowers.  Neither  Bory,  Saint  Vincent,  nor  Miiller — that 
immortal  Dame — have  taken  it  upon  themselves  to  decide  whether  the 
Vorticella  is  more  plant  than  animal ;  had  they  been  bolder  they  might 
have  drawn  valuable  conclusions  from  the  man  vegetable  known  to 
coachmen  as  melon. 

Anna  was  soon  drawn  from  the  contemplation  of  this  little  world 
to  the  fortunes  of  Jarpeado,  who,  in  her  vivid  imagination,  had  become 
the  hero  of  a  fairy  tale.  He  had  at  last  discovered  the  object  of  his 
affections  in  a  nursling  of  his  tribe,  over  whom  he  watched  as  she  lay 
in  state  beneath  a  perfumed  pavilion,  awaiting  the  incarnation  common 
alike  to  heathen  deities  and  zoological  creatures.  They  were  the  Paul 
and  Virginia  of  insect  life.  The  pavilion  was  guarded  by  soldiers 


PUBLIC  AND  PRIVATE  LIFE  OF  ANIMALS. 


THE  LOVES  OF  TWO  INSECTS. 


279 


attired  in  madder.     The  prince  proved  himself  a  wise  general,  as  well 
as  ardent  lover,  for  in  order  to  protect  his  domain  against  a  powerful- 


winged  foe  called  the  Muscicapa,  he  ordered  all  his  intelligent  subjects 
to  throw  themselves  in  such  numbers  on  the  monster,  as  to  choke  him, 


28o  PUBLIC  AND  PRIVATE  LIFE  OF  ANIMALS. 

or  else  satisfy  his  hunger.  For  this  service  he  promised  decorations 
and  titles  ;  that  was  all  he  had  to  offer.  The  breast  of  Anna  was  filled 
with  admiration  of  these  cheap  and  valuable  political  inventions. 

Invisible  nuns  shrouded  the  little  princess  in  grey  veils,  so  that 
nothing  but  her  head  was  seen  as  she  lay  in  state,  awaiting  her  new 
winged  life.  Anna  witnessed  the  joy  of  Paul,  when,  like  Venus  rising 
from  the  waves,  Virginia  quitted  her  winding  sheet,  and  like  Milton's 
Eve — who  is  a  real  English  Eve — smiled  on  the  light,  and  looking  at 
Paul,  exclaimed,  "Oh  ! " — this  superlative  of  English  astonishment.  The 
prince,  with  a  slave's  submission,  offered  to  show  the  fair  one  the  path 
of  life,  across  the  hills  and  dales  of  his  empire. 

Virginia,  growing  in  loveliness  and  in  the  prince's  affections,  returned 
his  care  with  caresses,  while  Paul  ministered  to  her  wants,  bringing 
the  ripest  fruits  for  her  food;  and  they  at  last  embarked  in  a  little  skiff, 
on  a  lake  bright  as  a  diamond,  and  hardly  larger  than  a  drop  of  water. 
Virginia  was  arrayed  in  a  bridal  robe  of  brilliant  stripes  and  great 
richness,  her  appearance  recalling  the  famous  Esmeralda,  celebrated  by 
Victor  Hugo,  only  Esmeralda  was  a  woman,  and  Virginia  an  angel  who 
would  not  for  all  the  world  have  loved  a  Marshal  of  the  court,  far  less- 
a  Colonel.  Her  whole  affections  were  consecrated  to  Jarpeado.  Happy 
pair,  thought  Anna,  but  alas  !  what  came  of  it  all  ?  After  the  wedding 
came  family  cares,  and  a  brood  destined  to  make  the  fame  and  fortune 
of  her  much-loved,  but  faithless  Jules. 

A  few  evenings  later,  Anna  was  frowning  on  her  father,  and  saying 
to  Jules — 

"  You  are  no  longer  faithful  to  the  palm-house,  so  much  gazing  on 
the  Cochineal  has  affected  your  taste.  You  are  about  to  marry  a  red- 
haired  girl,  with  large  feet,  without  any  figure,  devoid  alike  of  ideas 
and  manners,  freckled.  She  wears  dyed  dresses,  and  will  wound  your 
pride  twenty  times  a  day,  and  your  ears  with  her  sonatas." 

She  opened  her  piano  and  began  to  play  with  such  feeling,  that  the 
Spiders  remained  pensive  in  their  webs  on  Granarius'  ceiling,  and  the 
flowers  put  their  heads  in  at  the  window  to  listen. 

"  Ah  me  ! "  said  Anna,  "  animals  have  more  sense  than  the  wise  men 
who  preserve  them  in  glass-cases." 

Jules  left  the  room,  sad  at  heart,  for  the  talent,  beauty,  and  bright- 
ness of  this  good  soul  was  struggling  with  the  concert  of  vulgar  coins- 
which  his  red-haired  bride  was  bringing  to  his  door. 


THE  LOVES  OF  TWO  INSECTS.  281 

uAh  !"  exclaimed  Professor  Granarius,  "what  have  we  here  in  the 
papers  ?  Listen,  Anna. 

"  *  Thanks  to  the  efforts  of  the  learned  Professor  Granarius,  assisted 
by  his  clever  pupil  Jules  Sauval,  ten  grains  of  cochineal  have  been  ob- 
tained on  the  Nopal  in  the  great  palm-house.  Doubtless  this  culture 
will  flourish  in  our  African  possessions,  and  will  free  us  from  the  tribute 
we  pay  to  the  new  world.  Thus  the  expense  of  the  great  palm-house 
has  been  justified — against  which  opposition  was  not  slow  to  make  itself 
heard — but  the  costly  structure  will  yet  render  many  valuable  services 
to  French  commerce -and  agriculture.  M.  J.  Sauval  is  named  Chevalier 
of  the  Legion  of  Honour.' " 

"  M.  Jules  behaves  badly  to  us,"  said  Anna,  "  for  you  have  com- 
menced the  history  of  the  Coccus  cacti,  and  he  has  impudently  taken 

Bp» — 

"  Bah  !  "  said  the  professor,  "  he  is  my  pupil." 


JL<OVE    &DVENTURE3    OF    A    FRENCH     CAT. 


MINETTE   TO   BEBE. 

FIRST   LETTER. 

''  WHAT  will  you  say,  my  dear 
Be"be",  on  receiving  this  letter  from 
your  sister  supposed  to  be  dead, 
for  whom  you  have  doubtless  wept, 
as  one  who  is  almost  forgotten. 

"  Forgive  me,  my  sister,  for  sup- 
posing that  you  can  ever  forget 
me,  although  we  live  in  a  world 
where  many  more  than  the  dead 
are  forgotten. 

"  First  of  all  I  write  to  tell  you 
I  am  not  dead,  that  my  love  for 
you  is  as  strong  as  ever,  and  that  I  am  still  animated  by  the  hope  of 
one  day  rejoining  you,  alas  !  my  sister,  that  day  may  be  far  distant. 

"  This  evening  I  thought  about  our  good  mother,  who  was  always  so 
kind  and  careful  of  our  toilet,  whose  delight  it  was  to  watch  the  flicker 
of  the  fire-light  on  our  glossy,  silken  coats,  and  to  train  us  in  the  paths 
of  domestic  peace,  virtue,  and  sobriety.  I  was  touchingly  reminded  of 
our  simple  family-life,  with  its  happy  days,  and  innocent  frolic,  all  hal- 
lowed by  the  light  of  love.  Yet  the  brightness  of  that  light  of  true 
hearts  casts  many  dark  shadows  across  my  path,  shadows  of  regret  for 
neglected  ministries  of  tenderness  to  my  mother  who  is  now  perhaps 
no  more.  Above  the  sentiment  that  prompts  me  to  write,  is  the  desire 
to  make  a  regretful  confession  of  the  circumstances  which  separated 
me  from  the  dear  ones  at  home. 


ADVENTURES  OF  A  FRENCH  CAT. 


283 


"  Silently  I  took  up  the  pen,  and  the  result  is  before  you.  I  am 
bending  over  my  task  by  the  dim  light  of  an  alabaster  lamp,  carefully 
shaded  from  the  eyes  of  my  sleeping  mistress. 

"  Although  I  am  rich,  B£b£, 1  would  rather  be  poor  and  happy!  Oh, 
my  mistress  is  waking.  I  must  quickly  say  good-bye.  I  have  barely 
time  to  roll  up  my  letter  and  push  it  under  the  cover  of  a  chair,  where 
it  must  remain  till  daybreak.  When  it  is  finished  I  will  forward  it  by 
one  of  our  attendants  who  is  now  waiting  on  the  terrace.  He  will 
bring  me  your  reply. 

"  My  mother  !  my  mother  !  tell  me  all  about  her. 

"YOUR  SISTER." 


KAOUF 


"  P.S. — Place  confidence  in  my  messenger,  he  is  neither  young  nor 
handsome,  neither  a  Spanish  Grandee  nor  a  rich  Angora,  but  he  is 
devoted  and  discreet.  He  found  out  your  address.  He  loves  me  and 
would  do  anything  for  me,  so  he  has  become  my  courier.  He  is  a 
slave  !  Do  not  pity  him  ;  the  chains  of  love  are  his  fetters. 


284  PUBLIC  AND  PRIVATE  LIFE  OF  ANIMALS. 

"  You  must  address  your  letters  to  Madam  Rosa  Mika,  that  is  the 
name  I  am  known  under  here. 

"My  mistress  is  certainly  waking  up,  she  sleeps  badly,  and  I  dread 
discovery. 

"  Again,  adieu  !  In  all  this  scribbling  you  will  recognise  more  of  the 
heart  than  the  hand  of  your  sister." 

BEBfi  TO  MINETTE. 

SECOND   LETTER. 

"  MY  DEAR  MINETTE, — I  thought  I  should  go  mad  on  reading  your 
letter,  my  joy  knew  no  bounds,  and  indeed  it  was  shared  by  all.  One 
would  willingly  see  all  one's  relations  die,  if  they  all  came  to  life  again 
like  you.  Ah,  Minette,  your  departure  caused  us  great  grief.  Were  you 
forced  to  leave  us  so  long  in  doubt  ?  If  you  only  knew  how  everything 
is  changed  here  since  you  left.  To  begin,  your  mother  is  deaf  and 
blind,  and  the  poor  old  creature  passes  her  days  at  the  door,  without 
ever  uttering  a  complaint.  When  I  wished  to  tell  her  you  were  still 
alive,  I  could  not  make  her  understand,  and  she  could  neither  read  nor 
see  your  letter.  Her  many  troubles  have  told  sadly  upon  her.  After 
you  left,  she  searched  everywhere  in  vain  for  you,  and  the  loss  seems 
to  have  undermined  her  health  and  left  her  the  wreck  I  describe. 

"Do  not  grieve  too  much,  old  age  no  doubt  must  take  the  lion's 
share  of  blame.  Besides,  she  sleeps,  drinks,  and  eats  well ;  and  there  is 
always  plenty  in  the  cupboard,  as  I  would  rather  starve  than  let  her 
want. 

"  Our  young  mistress  has  lost  her  mother,  so  she  is  more  unfortunate 
than  we  are,  as  she  has  lost  everything,  except  her  pretty  figure,  which 
does  not  change. 

"  It  was  necessary  to  leave  the  little  shop  in  Murais ;  to  give  up  the 
ground  floor,  and  all  at  once  mount  to  the  attic,  and  to  work  from 
morning  to  night,  and  from  night  till  morning  sometimes.  But,  thank 
heaven,  I  have  a  sure  foot,  gopd  eye,  and  am  a  capital  hunter. 

"  You  touchingly  remark  that  you  are  rich,  and  would  rather  sacri- 
fice wealth  for  happiness.  I  do  not  clearly  see  how  I  can  complain  of 
being  poor.  How  funny  you  are  !  you  dine  at  a  polished  board,  off 
gilded  plates,  and  goodly  fare.  One  would  think  from  your  way  of 
putting  it,  that  by  stinting  one's  self  of  food,  one  gets  what  riches  cannot 


ADVENTURES  OF  A  FRENCH  CAT.  285 

buy.  Some  wise  cat  will  no  doubt  prove  before  long,  that  poverty  is 
the  cure  for  all  evils.  Seriously,  do  you  believe  that  fortune  impairs 
happiness"?  If  that  is  your  creed,  become  poor  at  once,  ruin  yourself  ! 
Nothing  is  easier  than  that,  live  by  your  teeth  if  you  can.  Tell  me 
what  you  think  of  it.  Complain  of  being  unhappy,  but  not  of  being 
rich,  for  we  who  are  poor  are  no  strangers  to  misery.  I  scold  you  as 
your  elder  sister  ought  to  do,  so  forgive  me. 

"Do  you  not  know  that  Bebe*  would  only  be  too  happy  to  be  of 
some  use  to  you  ?  Do  not  keep  me  waiting  for  another  letter.  I  begin 
to  fear  you  have  been  seeking  happiness  where  it  can  never  be  found. 
Of  course  you  will  hide  nothing  from  me.  Ease  your  heart  and  write 
down  your  griefs  on  your  perfumed  paper,  as  you  proposed.  Adieu, 
Minette,  adieu  !  This  is  enough,  it  is  the  hour  for  our  mother's  meal, 
and  it  is  yet  running  about  in  the  loft.  Things  are  not  going  on  well 
there,  the  mice  are  clever,  and  every  day  seems  to  develop  new  instincts 
of  cunning.  We  have  feasted  so  long  on  them,  they  begin  to  notice  it. 
My  neighbour  is  a  cat,  not  a  bad  specimen,  were  he  not  so  original. 
He  dotes  on  the  mice,  and  pretends  that  some  day  there  will  be 
a  revolution  when  mice  will  be  able  to  hold  their  own  against 
cats. 

"  You  see  I  am  right  in  profiting  by  the  peace  we  now  enjoy,  hunt- 
ing at  will  in  their  grounds.  But  do  not  let  us  talk  politics  ! 

"  Adieu,  Minette. 

"  Your  messenger  is  waiting.  He  refuses  to  disclose  your  address. 
Shall  we  soon  meet  each  other  ? 

"  Your  sister  till  death, 


"  P.S.  —  I  own  your  old  courier  is  very  ugly.  For  all  that,  when  I 
saw  what  he  brought,  I  kissed  him  with  all  my  heart.  You  should 
have  seen  him  bow  when  he  presented  the  letter  from  Madam  Rosa 
Mika.  Were  you  out  of  your  mind  Minette  when  you  adopted  such  a 
name  ?  Was  Minette  not  a  charming  name  for  a  cat  so  white  as  your- 
self? As  I  have  no  more  paper,  I  conclude." 

A  Starling  had  the  misfortune  of  upsetting  a  bottle  of  ink  over 
Minette's  reply  to  B^be",  so  that  several  pages  of  the  letter  are  illegible. 
The  loss  of  these  passages,  however,  does  not  interfere  with  the 
narrative.  The  missing  matter  is  indicated  by  dotted  lines. 


286 


PUBLIC  AND  PRIVATE  LIFE  OF  ANIMALS. 


MINETTE    TO 

THIRD  LETTER. 


.  ..."  Do  you  remember  the  doll  given  to  us  by  our  mistress, 
which  soon  became  a  subject  of  discord.  How  you  used  to  scratch  me. 
Oh  dear  !  I  almost  feel  my  back  bleeding  when  I  think  of  it.  How  I 
used  to  complain  of  you  to  my  mother  when  you  so  persistently  called 


me  a  story-teller,  but  I  got  no  satisfaction.  It  is  from  this  point,  this 
little  wrong,  that  all  my  miseries  sprang  1  Indignant  at  repeated 
miscarriages  of  justice,  I  resolved  to  fly  from  you  and  seek  a  happier 
home.  Ascending  to  the  roof,  the  heaven  of  cats,  I  viewed  the  distant 
horizon,  and  determined  to  wander  to  its  furthest  limit.  The  prospect 


ADVENTURES  OF  A  FRENCH  CAT. 


287 


288  PUBLIC  AND  PRIVATE  LIFE  OF  ANIMALS. 

for  a  kitten  so  young  was  not  tempting.  I  foresaw  many  dangers  to 
which  I  would  be  exposed  in  making  my  way  into  strange  lands.  I 
remember  ....  I  seemed  to  hear  choirs  of  voices  in  the  air — 

"  '  Do  not  cry,  Minette,'  whispered  a  voice— no  doubt  that  of  my  evil 
genius — l  the  hour  of  your  deliverance  approaches.  This  humble  dwell- 
ing is  an  unworthy  shelter  for  one  born  by  nature  to  adorn  the  halls  of 
a  palace  ! ' 

"  l  Alas/  replied  a  voice  softer  and  more  musical — that  of  my  con- 
science— *  You  mock  me,  sir,  I  am  a  lowly  maiden,  a  palace  is  no  place 
for  me  ! ' 

"  '  Beauty  is  queen  of  the  world,'  continued  the  first.  '  You  are 
extremely  beautiful,  therefore  you  are  queen  !  What  robe  is  whiter, 
what  eyes  brighter  than  yours  ! ' 

"  '  Think  of  your  mother,'  said  the  pleading  voice.  '  Can  you  forget 
her  ?  Can  you  forget  your  sister  B^be  1 ' 

"  '  Beb£  makes  you  her  slave,  and  your  mother  does  not  love  you. 
You  are  a  child  of  misfortune.  You  have  been  reared  by  chance. 
Chance  is  your  foster-mother.  You  are  alone  indebted  to  chance. 
Come,  Minette,  come,  the  world  is  before  you.  Here  is  misery  and 
obscurity,  yonder,  riches  and  fame  ! ' 

"  My  good  angel  in  vain  tried  to  picture  a  future  of  darkness  and 
despair.  The  love  of  finery  took  possession  of  my  heart  and  sealed 
my  doom ! 

"  The  voice  became  more  and  more  irresistible,  and  I  blindly 
followed  its  commands. 

"  I  had  fallen  into  a  faint,  but  when  I  became  conscious,  judge  my 
surprise  to  find  that  my  charmer  was  no  illusion.  Before  me  stood  a 
young  cat  gazing  tenderly  down  on  me. 

"  Ah,  Be"be",  he  was  handsome  !  and  his  eyes  sparkled  with  the  flame 
of  kindling  love.  He  was  the  ideal  cat  of  whom  we  sing  when  gazing 
on  the  moon  veiled  by  the  city  smoke.  At  last,  in  a  high-pitched 
rapturous  voice,  he  exclaimed,  'Divine  Minette,  I  adore  thee.'  I  /elt 
my  tail  expand  at  his  audacity,  but  my  heart  expanded  as  if  in  unison, 
for  I  already  felt  that  he  was  mine.  Soon  he  settled  down,  his  gaze 
riveted  upon  my  face.  You  ought  to  have  seen  how  humbly  he  begged 
for  a  single  glance  from  me.  How  could  I  refuse  his  request,  he  who, 
perhaps,  had  rescued  me  from  the  terrible  death  of  a  fall  from  the 
tiles. 

"If  you   had  only  heard   his   eloquence,    Be"be.      I   confess  I   felt 


ADVENTURES  OF  A  FRENCH  CAT.  289 

flattered  and  puffed  up  with  pride,  and  saw  myself  prospectively 
arrayed  in  all  the  finery  he  promised  to  lay  at  my  feet ;  lace,  collars, 
jewels,  and  a  superb  ermine  muff.  This  last  gift  brought  me  into  great 
trouble. 

"  I  was  naturally  indolent — he  pictured  to  me  a  life  of  ease,  with  its 
soft  carpets,  velvet  and  brocade  cushions,  arm-chairs,  sofas,  and  all 
sorts  of  fine  furniture.  He  assured  me  that  his  mistress — an  ambas- 
sador's wife — would  be  delighted  to  receive  me  whenever  I  cared  to 
visit  her,  and  that  all  the  collection  which  made  her  apartments  a 
magazine  of  curiosities  was  at  my  disposal. 

"  Oh,  it  was  delightful  to  dream  of  being  waited  on  so  ;  I  would  have 
a  maid,  and  my  noble  mistress  would  serve  me. 

" '  We  are  called  domestic  animals,'  he  said,  why,  it  is  impossible  to 
say.  What  position  do  we  fill  in  a  house  1  Whom  do  we  serve  and 
who  serves  us,  if  not  our  masters  ?  He  assured  me  I  was  simply  per- 
fect, in  tones  so  musical,  that  I  heard  the  old  landlady  below  screaming 
with  delight.  I  said  I  felt  lonely,  and  he  &wore  eternal  fidelity — Oh  ! 
how  he  did  swear — and  promised  a  life  of  cloudless  joy.  In  a  word  I 
was  to  become  his  wife,  and  the  ambassador's  titled  cat. 

"  What  more  need  I  add.  I  followed  him  and  thus  became  Madame 
de  Brisquet. 

FROM  THE  SAME  TO  THE  SAME. 

FOURTH  LETTER. 

"  Yes,  Beb£,  Madam  de  Brisquet. 

"  Pity  me,  Bebe,  when  I  write  this  name  it  seems  to  me  to  contain 
the  whole  story  of  my  misery,  condensed  and  sublimated,  yet  I  have 
imagined  myself  happy  in  the  possession  of  wealth,  honour,  and  his 
affection.  Our  entrance  into  the  hotel  was  a  real  triumph,  even  the 
ambassador  opened  his  window  to  receive  us.  The  lady  pronounced 
me  the  most  beautiful  creature  she  had  ever  seen,  and  after  exhaust- 
ing her  store  of  agreeable  flatteries,  she  rang  for  her  people,  told  them 
all  to  respect  me,  and  committed  me  to  the  care  of  her  lady-in- 
waiting.  I  was  at  once  named  the  queen  of  cats,  the  fashionable 
ln'.iiity,  by  all  the  most  renowned  Angoras  in  Paris.  My  husband  was 
proud  of  my  success,  and  I  looked  forward  to  a  lifetime  of  happiness. 

"  0  Bebe",  when  I  recall  all  this,  I  often  ask  myself  how  it  is  I  have 
any  heart  left. 

I 


290  PUBLIC  AND  PRIVATE  LIFE  OF  ANIMALS. 

"  My  honeymoon  lasted  fifteen  days,  after  which  I  discovered  that 
Brisquet  had  no  real  love  for  me.  In  vain  were  his  assurances  that  his 
affection  had  not  changed — I  was  not  to  be  deceived.  But  love  desires 
what  is  impossible,  and  is  after  all  satisfied  with  very  little.  Even 
when  all  tokens  of  affection  were  at  an  end,  I  felt  I  still  loved  him,  and 
would  not  believe  that  love  so  sincere  awakened  no  kindred  flame  in 
his  heart. 

"Remember  this,  Bebe,  there  is  nothing  more  transient  than  the  love 
of  cats.  Far  from  being  pleased  at  my  constancy,  Brisquet  became 
impatient  with  me. 

"'I  cannot  understand/ he  exclaimed  angrily,  'why  love,  the  most 
gay  and  agreeable  pastime  of  youth,  should  become  the  most  serious, 
absurd,  and  bothering  business  of  our  maturer  years.' 

"  I  abandoned  my  mother  and  sister,  because  I  loved  you  !  I,  I 

wept  ! 

"  My  grief  only  hardened  his  heart,  he  became  cruel,  even  brutal,  and 
I,  who  had  rebelled  .against  my  poor  mother's  neglect,  bent  under  his 
oppression,  and  waited,  hoping  for  brighter  days.  But  time  is  a  piti- 
less monster,  and  te'aches  us  many  a  hard  lesson  we  would  rather  not 
learn.  Time  may  also  be  likened  to  a  good  physician,  who,  after  many 
days  heals  the  deepest  wounds.  I  became  calm,  feeling  that  the  last 
ember  of  my  unrequited  love  had  been  rudely  stamped  out ;  and  I  for- 
gave him. 

"  Brisquet  was  one  of  those  who  love  themselves  better  than  all  the 
world,  and  who  are  easily  elated  by  anything  that  flatters  their  vanity. 
He  was  a  true  disciple  of  the  school  of  gallantry,  whose  doctrines  are 
framed  to  please,  without  the  troublesome  sentiment  of  love.  Their 
hearts  have  two  doors  which  open  almost  simultaneously,  the  one  to 
let  you  in,  the  other  to  kick  you  out.  Naturally,  Brisquet  while  ceasing 
to  care  for  me,  had  found  another  dupe.  Fortune  had  furnished  a 
singular  rival,  a  Chinese  creature  from  the  province  of  Peichihli,  who, 
soon  after  she  had  landed,  set  all  the  cats  in  Paris  in  a  ferment.  This 
gay  intriguer  had  been  imported  by  the  manager  of  a  theatre,  who 
wisely  foresaw  that  a  Chinese  cat  would  create  a  tremendous  sensation 
among  the  Parisians. 

"  The  novelty  of  this  last  conquest  pricked  the  self-love  of  Brisquet, 
while  the  drooping  ears  of  the  foreigner  did  the  rest.  Not  long  after 
he  announced  his  intention  of  leaving  me. 

" '  I  found  you  poor,  I  leave  you  rich.     You  were  despairing  and 


ADVENTURES  OF  A  FRENCH  CAT.  291 

knew  nothing  of  the  world,  now,  your  instinct  has  been  sharpened 
by  experience.  You  owe  all  to  me ;  thank  me,  and  let  me  go.' 

" '  Go,'  1  said,  '  I  ought  never  to  have  loved  you,'  and  he  left  me. 

"  His  departure  lifted  a  load  from  my  heart.  1  no  longer  cared  for 
him.  O  B£be,  if  I  could  only  have  forgotten  all,  and  become  a 
kitten  again. 

"  It  was  about  the  time  of  Brisquet's  disappearance  that  I  renounced 
the  world,  and  refused  to  quit  my  apartments.  Under  the  able  tuition 
of  my  mistress,  I  soon  perceived  that  there  was  more  probability  in 
the  fable  of  the  cat  transformed  into  a  woman,  than  one  would  suppose. 
In  order,  therefore,  to  wile  away  the  time,  I  took  to  the  study  of  human 
nature  from  our  point  of  view.  I  resolved  to  put  together  my  obser- 
vations in  the  form  of  a  little  treatise,  entitled,  'History  of  a  Woman, 
as  a  Caution  to  Cats  ;  by  a  Yotary  of  Fashion.' 

"  Should  I  find  an  editor,  this  important  work  will  soon  see  the 
light.  Bebe,  I  have  no  heart  to  write  more.  Oh,  that  I  had,  like  you, 
remained  poor,  and  never  known  the  pain  of  luxurious  misery.  Bebe, 
I  have  decided  to  return  to  the  loft  to  rejoin  you  and  my  dear  mother, 
who,  perhaps,  after  some  time  may  know  me  .again.  Do  not  deter  me, 
I  will  work,  I  will  forget  all  the  pomp  and  vanity  of  riches.  Adieu !  I 
hope  to  leave  for  home  to-morrow." 

BtfBE  TO  MINETTE. 

FIFTH  LF.TTER. 

"As  I  have  just  received  and  perused  your  long,  sad  letter,  I  can 
only  say,  that  I  am  ready  to  welcome  you  home.  Your  story  was  read 
through  a  mist  of  tears.  Although,  as  I  say,  I  am  ready  to  receive  you, 
for  your  own  sake,  I  entreat  you  to  remain  where  you  are.  Think  well 
before  plunging  into  poverty,  and  exchanging  the  sentimental  misery  of 
your  position  for  the  real  woes  of  want.  Remain  where  you  are,  for 
beneath  the  richly-laden  boards  of  the  great,  you  can  never  feel  privation. 
You  can  never  feel  the  savage  instinct  that  causes  your  poor  relations 
at  home  to  fight  for  the  foulest  refuse. 

"  Mark  well  my  words,  Minette.  There  is  only  one  overwhelming 
type  of  misery  in  the  world,  and  that  is,  born  of  poverty.  I  need  say 
nothing  to  prove  that  our  lot  is  a  sad  one.  The  masons  have  just  left 
the  loft,  where  they  stopped  up  every  mouse-hole,  and  transformed  our 
happy  hunting-grounds  into  howling  wastes  of  bare  timber  and  plaster. 


292  PUBLIC  AND  PRIVATE  LIFE  OF  ANIMALS. 


My  mother,  who  knows  nothing  of  all  this,  is  dying  for  a  meal.  I  have 
nothing  to  give  her,  and  I  have  tasted  nothing  for  days.  BEBE." 

"  P.S. — I  was  begging  the  privilege  of  hunting  in  the  neighbours' 
preserves,  and  have  been  driven  from  their  roofs  and  spouts.  Keep 
your  sorrows,  you  have  leisure  to  weep  over  them,  and  over  the  sad  lot 
of  your  poor  sister  and  mother. 

"  It  is  said  no  one  dies  of  hunger  in  Paris — we  shall  see  !  " 

FROM    BEBE    TO    MINETTE. 

SIXTH   LETTER, 

"  We  are  saved  !  a  generous  cat  has  come  to  our  aid.  Ah,  Minette, 
how  joyous  it  is  to  come  to  life  again  !  BEBE\" 

FROM  THE  SAME  TO  THE  SAME. 

SEVENTH   LETTER. 

"  You  do  not  reply,  Minette.  What  is  the  reason  ?  Ought  I  to 
excuse  you  1  I  have  great  news,  I  am  going  to  be  married.  I  have 
consented  to  wed  our  deliverer.  He  is  elderly  and  fat,  but  very  good. 
I  feel  certain  you  will  approve  of  the  step.  His  name  is  Pompon,  a 
nice  name  which  suits  him  well.  It  is,  besides,  a  good  match,  he  is  a 
well-fed  cat.  You  see  my  education  has  led  me  to  view  this  union  in 
a  plain  practical  way.  Write  soon,,  lazy  one  !  BEBE." 

FROM   MINETTE   TO   B^BE. 
EIGHTH  LETTER  (written  in  pencil). 

"  While  I  write  to  you,  Bebe,  my  maid — the  one  kept  for  me  by  my 
mistress — is  engaged  in  making  a  linen  bag,  when  finished  I  will  be 
thrust  into  it,  it  will  be  sewn  up,  and  I  shall  be  carried  off  by  the  foot- 
man and  thrown  into  the  river. 

"  This  is  to  be  my  fate. 

"  Do  you  know  why,  Be"be".  It  is  because  I  am  sick,  and  my  mistress, 
who  has  the  most  superfine  feelings,  dreads  the  sight  of  suffering  and 
death.  *  Poor  Rosa  Mika,'  she  said,  '  how  she  is  changed  ! '  and  in  a 
sad  voice  gave  the  fatal  order,  '  Be  sure  to  drown  her  well,  do  not 
have  her  suffer  pain.' 


ADVENTURES  OF  A  FRENCH  CAT.  293 

"  Ah,  Bebe,  what  do  you  say  now  ?  Do  you  still  envy  my  miseries  'I 
My  illness  prevented  me  from  writing.  Adieu. 

"  Bebe,  in  a  few  minutes  all  will  be  over.  MINETTE." 

You  know  the  history  of  my  married  life,  would  you  wish  me  to 
begin  again  ? 

As  for  Be"be,  her  lot  in  life  was  a  happy  one,  only  marred  by  the 
death  of  her  mother,  who  expired  in  her  arms  while  blessing  her 
daughter. 

Pompon  proved  a  devoted  husband  and  father,  for  Bebe  soon  became 
the  mother  of  a  numerous  family  of  little  Pompons  and  Minettes. 


EPJLQQUE. 

CHIEF   EDITOR'S. 


"  WE  are  happy  to  say  that  poor  Minette  is  not  dead,  a  telegram  has 
just  been  handed  to  us  intimating  that  she  escaped  as  if  by  a  miracle 
the  sad  end  which  menaced  her.. 

"  Both  mistress  and  maid  died  suddenly  before  the  fatal  bag  was 
finished.  Their  death  is  an  event  most  unaccountable,,  unless  it  was 
brought  about  to  meet  the  exigency  of  this  romantic  tale;  Minette, 
by  means  best  known  to-  the  author  of  this  faithful  history,  soon 
recovered,  and  was  restored  to  her  sister,,  with  whom  she  lived  happily 
for  many  years,  enjoying  neither  riches  nor  poverty.  Minette's  tran- 
quillity was  broken  for  a  time  by  the  news  that  Brisquet  had  first 
associated  himself  with  a  desperate  gang  of  nocturnal  serenaders,  and 
ended  his  midnight  exploits  and  his  life  by  falling  from  a  roof  into  the 
street.  Be"be"  seeing  Minette  a  lonely  widow,,  was  filled  with  compas- 
sion, and  tried  to  persuade  her  to  wed  one  of  the  friends  of  Pompon. 
All  her  efforts  were  vain.  Minette  remained  unmoved,  saying,  *  One 
only  loves  once.  There  are  those  for  whom  I  might  die,  but  with  whom 
I  must  refuse  to  live.  Besides,  my  resolution  is  taken  —  I  shall  end  my 
days  in  widowhood.'  " 


ADVENTURES  OF  A  FRENCH  CAT. 


295 


THE   FATAL   FALL. 


CELEBRATED  TRIALS. 


AM  an  old  Crow,  a  member  of  the 
Bar  of  the  animal  kingdom.  At  the 
urgent  request  of  my  friends  and  a 
wide  circle  of  admirers,  and  owing  to 
the  shortcomings  of  law  reporters,  I 
have  resolved  to  set  before  you  a 
succinct  account  of  the  last  assizes. 
They  created  a  great  sensation  ;  it  could 
hardly  be  otherwise,  since  the  happy 
thought  had  suggested  itself  of  select- 
ing most  of  the  judges  and  jurymen 
from  members  of  my  own  tribe,  and 
these,  by  their  grave  solemnity  of  countenance,  and  by  their  black 
attire,  presented  an  imposing  spectacle  to  the  crowd,  for  it  was  but 
natural  to  infer  that  creatures  so  skilled  in  ransacking  dead  bodies 
would  be  peculiarly  apt  in  drawing  conclusions  as  to  the  moral  decom- 
position of  prisoners. 

A  Stork  was  appointed  President,  his  cold-blooded  patience  and 
stolidity  rendering  him  not  unworthy  of  that  honour.  Perched  motion- 
less on  his  chair  with  his  eyes  half  shut,  his  breast  puffed  out,  his  head 
thrown  back,  he  carefully  watched  for  any  contradictory  statements 
made  by  the  accused,  and  looked  as  if  in  ambush  on  the  borders  of 
some  swamp.  The  post  of  Attorney-General  had  fallen  to  a  wry- 
necked  Vulture.  This  personage,  if  he  ever  possessed  any  sensibility, 
had  long  forgotten  its  influence.  Ardent  and  pitiless,  his  only  thought 
was  to  obtain  success,  or  in  other  words  conviction  ;  his  claws  and 
beak  were  ever  ready  to  attack  but  never  to  defend.  The  court  of 
assizes  was  a  field  of  battle,  and  the  prisoner  a  foe  who  must  be  sub- 
dued at  any  price.  He  proceeded  to  a  criminal  trial  like  a  soldier  to 
an  assault,  throwing  himself  into  the  case  like  a  gladiator  into  the 
arena.  In  short,  the  Vulture  makes  an  admirable  Attorney-General. 


CELEBRATED  TRIALS. 


297 


The  inhabitants  of  the  holes,  nests,  copses,  molehills,  and  neighbour- 


ing  marshes   flocked  in  crowds  to  attend  these  judicial  ceremonies, 
while   Geese,  Bitterns,   Buzzards,  and   Magpies  swelled  the  throng. 


298  PUBLIC  AND  PRIVATE  LIFE  OF  ANIMALS. 

This  is  the  way  of  the  world.  Seats  were  reserved  for  the  representa- 
tives of  the  press — Ducks  and  Parrots  most  of  them.  With  what 
eagerness  these  gentry  hurried  to  their  places  !  A  reporter  pounces 
upon  a  horrible  trial  as  if  it  were  his  lawful  prey.  When  such  an 
occasion  presents  itself,  the  regular  staff  find  themselves  no  longer 
obliged  to  task  their  imaginations,  to  cudgel  their  well-worn  brains. 
Copy  is  supplied  to  them  ready-made,  needing  no  fresh  spice  to  suit 
the  public  taste,  but  rather  abounding  in  dramatic  incidents,  such 
as  the  journalists  could  never  have  invented  themselves;  so  the 
editor  can  proudly  cry  out  to  his  printer,  "  Strike  off  10,000  addi- 
tional sheets  ! " 

It  is  needless  to  describe  in  detail  the  whole  business  of  the  session. 
We  will  set  aside  the  proceedings  against  a  jolly  Dog,  who  in  a  moment 
of  excitement  bit  the  tail  off  a  rival  in  front  of  a  tavern ;  against  a 
Peacock  for  assuming  an  aristocratic  title  not  his  own,  a  Magpie  for 
theft,  a  Cat  for  unlawful  trespass  on  private  tiles,  a  French  Cock  for 
stirring  up  hatred  against  the  constituted  government,  a  Fox  for  fraudu- 
lent bankruptcy.  We  will  content  ourselves  by  noticing  the  two  lead- 
ing trials,  saying  with  a  Eat  of  our  acquaintance,  who  had  gnawed  his 
knowledge  out  of  a  book-worm's  library,  Musa  mehi  causus  memora. 

In  a  recent  issue  of  "  The  Microcosm,"  a  journal  much  .patronised  by 
the  Ducks,  one  might  have  read  the  following  words  : — 

"  A  crime  has  just  been  committed  of  a  nature  so  diabolical  as  to 
rouse  the  indignation  of  the  whole  country.  It  is  deeply  to  be  regretted 
that  at  the  moment  when  the  confederated  animals  had  sworn  to 
maintain  eternal  friendship  and  peace,  a  Toad  should  be  found  foully 
poisoned  in  a  field.  Justice  is  making  investigation  ;  she  investigated 
to  such  good  purpose  that  two  Sheep,  three  Snails,  and  four  Lizards, 
all  equally  guiltless,  were  arrested  on  suspicion,,  and  not  released  until 
they  had  been  detained  for  ninety  days  in  precautionary  imprisonment. 
May  Providence  protect  you,  my  friends,  from  having  any  idle  charge 
ever  laid  at  your  doors.  The  first  thing  to  be  done  will  be  to  lock  you 
up  in  a  cell ;  there  you  will  be  detained  in  custody,  that  you  may  be 
interrogated,  and  even  cross-questioned,  about  family  antecedents  and 
occupation,  your  mode  of  spending  your  leisure,  and  how  you  have 
been  employed  on  certain  days,  at  certain  hours,  for  some  months 
past.  After  it  has  been  duly  established  that  you  are  innocent,  you 
will  be  politely  requested  to  go  back  to  your  domicile.  During  all  this 
time  your  affairs  have  languished  and  fallen  into  disorder,  creditors 


CELEBRATED  TRIALS.  299 

have  become  furious,  debtors  have  flown,  your  family  has  been  injured, 
and  calumnies  of  all  sorts  have  been  kindly  set  afloat  concerning  you, 
for  we  may  always  find  plenty  of  animals  who  will  say,  '  Where  there's 
smoke  there  must  be  fire.'  " 

Those  who  were  arrested  on  suspicion  in  this  instance  were  found  to 
exhibit  no  traces  of  guilt.  The  inquiry  was  pushed  with  the  greatest 
energy  and  activity  under  the  direction  of  a  pair  of  Tortoises,  but  the 
longer  their  examination  continued,  the  more  profound  became  the 
darkness  and  mystery  which  shrouded  the  Toad's  death.  At  last  a 
Mole  came  tumbling  up  from  under  his  hill,  and  stated  that  he  had 
seen  an  enormous  Viper — monstrum  horrendum,  as  my  friend  the  Rat 
would  say — darting  at  the  Toad.  When  brought  face  to  face  with  the 
remains  of  the  deceased,  he  swore  positively  to  its  identity.  The  Bull- 
dogs were  instantly  despatched  in  search  of  the  Viper,  and  falling 
valiantly  upon  him  during  his  aleep,  brought  him  before  the  judges. 

The  court  is  opened;  the  indictment  is  iead>  the  Ant,  a  distinguished 
analyst,  who-  had  been  ordered  to  examine  the  contents  of  the  stomach, 
proceeds  to  read  his  analysis — marked  attention. 

"  Gentlemen,,  our  duty  has  been  to  examine  the  body  and  intestines 
of  the  unfortunate  Toadr  and  to  ascertain  beyond  doubt  whether  they 
contained  traces  of  the  poisonous  matter  distilled  in  the  fangs  of  the 
Viper,  called  ,by  the  learned  Fiperirum* 

"This  substance,  combined  with  diverse  oxides,  acids,  and  simple 
bodies,  forms  variously  Flpercvtes,  Viperites,  or  Piperures. 

"  We  have  analysed,  with  the  greatest  care,  the  stomach,  the  liver, 
the  lungs,  and  the  encephalic  mass  of  the  victim,  using  a  variety  of 
reagents  pilfered  from,  a  homoeopathic  chemist  who  carried  his  medi- 
cine-chest in  his  pocket.  After  heating  and  evaporating  to  dryness 
the  pancreatic  juice  and  other  substances  contained  in  the  stomach,  we 
obtained  a  sweet  solid  body,  which  we  treated  with  two  milligrammes 
of  distilled  water ;  by  placing  the  whole  in  a  glass  retort,  and  submitting 
it  to  ebullition  for  two  hours  and  twenty-five  minutes,  we  obtained  no 
result.  But  this  same  substance  treated  successively  with  acetates,  sul- 
phates, nitrates,  prussiates,  and  chlorates,  yielded  a  liquid  of  a  blue 
apple  green  colour  which,  when  combined  with  certain  powerful  re- 
agents, deposited  a  powder  of  an  indefinite  but  most  characteristic 
colour.  This  powder  can  be  nothing  but  Viperium  in  its  pure  state." 

Such  a  lucid  and  conclusive  report  deeply  impressed  the  audience. 


300  PUBLIC  AND  PRIVATE  LIFE  OF  ANIMALS. 

This  trial;  which  ended  in  the  conviction  of  the  Viper,  would  doubt- 
less have  excited  greater  interest  had  not  public  attention  been  drawn 
away  by  important  political  matters,  and  by  the  account  of  a  still 
greater  trial  which  took  place  about  the  same  time. 

The  announcement  of  this  aifair  appeared  in  the  page  of  "  The 
Microcosm "  consecrated  to  the  horrible,  headed,  as  usual,  "  Another 
dreadful  Tragedy." 

"  A  Ewe  and  her  Lamb,  setting  a  noble  example  to  other  domesticated 
animals,  had  escaped  from  their  fold.  Both  were  at  once  placed  under 
the  special  protection  of  the  Free  Confederation  of  Animals,  in  spite  of 
which  they  have  been  basely  murdered. 

"  A  wolf,  believed  by  all  to  be  the  true  assassin,  has  been  arrested, 
thanks  to  the  zeal  and  energy  of  the  commander  of  the  Bulldogs." 

The  point  of  importance  was  to  ascertain  how  the  Sheep  came  by  its 
death.  Accordingly,  to  place  this  question  beyond  doubt,  a  Turkey  was 
appointed  to  hold  a  post-mortem  examination.  Now  this  Turkey  was 
among  the  most  learned  of  birds.  He  had  won  a  title  by  Jiis  marvellous 
skill,  and  had  gained  a  well-deserved  reputation  by  researches — un- 
happily inconclusive — into  that  important  problem  Quare  opium  facit 
dormire. 

This  eminent  practitioner  stated  that  the  Sheep  had  certainly  not 
succumbed  to  an  attack  of  cholera  as  some  had  falsely  reported,  but 
from  a  wound  six  inches  in  length  having  been  made  in  her  neck,  nearly 
severing  the  head  from  the  trunk. 

The  trial  was  impatiently  awaited,  and  at  last  came  on  for  hearing. 
From  break  of  day  an  immense  multitude  besieged  the  entrance  to  the 
court,  but  the  authorities  had  taken  measures  to  prevent  disorder.  At 
ten  o'clock  the  accused  is  brought  in ;  he  looks  pale,  his  dark  eyes  have 
lost  their  lustre,  his  attire  though  decent  has  nothing  recherche  about 
it  One  can  scarcely  make  out  his  features,  which  seem  to  shun  the 
curious  gaze  of  the  public.  An  old  Crow,  who  out  of  twenty  applicants 
obtained  the  honour  of  defending  the  prisoner,  was  in  his  place  in  his 
professional  robes  prepared  to  enter  upon  his  task.  At  length  the 
examination  commenced. 

Q.  "  Prisoner,  stand  up  !     Your  name  and  surname  1  " 

Ans.  "Canis  Lupus." 

Q.  "Your  age?" 

Ans.  "Twelve  years." 


CELEBRATED  TRIALS.  301 


Q.  "  Your  profession  1" 
Am.  "Botanist." 
Q.  "  Your  dwelling  ?" 
^?i5.  "The  woods." 

"The  charges  against  you,  Canis  Lupus,  will  be  read  over." 
The  indictment  was  read  amid   profound  silence,  after  which  the 
presiding  judge  resumed  examination  of  the  prisoner. 

Q.  "  Canis  Lupus,  what  have  you  to  say  in  your  defence  1 " 
Ans.  "  I  am  innocent  of  the  crime  laid  to  my  charge.  I  own,  my  lord, 
for  a  long  time  I  was  accustomed  to  destroy  Sheep,  but  in  so  doing 
I  consulted  less  my  inclination  than  my  hatred  for  man.  If  the  death 
of  a  Sheep  or  Lamb  gave  me  pleasure,  it  was  simply  because  I  knew  that 
I  thus  carried  off  from  my  oppressors  a  portion  of  their  daily  food. 

"  For  some  time  past  I  have  looked  upon  Sheep  with  the  tenderest 
solicitude,  without  in  any  way  permitting  this  sentiment  to  interfere 
with  my  hatred  for  mankind.  Picture  my  horror,  my  indignation, 
when  a  few  days  back  I  beheld  the  innocents  of  whose  death  I  am 
accused,  pursued  by  a  butcher  who  struck  them  down  without  pity. 
I  flew  to  their  aid,  the  infamous  executioner  taking  to  his  heels  in 
terror.  Just  at  that  moment  when  I  was  preparing  to  bind  up  the 
wounds,  the  officers  of  the  court  apprehended  me  as  if  I  were  a  vulgar 
assassin !  Hereafter  I  propose  to  sue  for  false  imprisonment  and 
damages." 

The  prisoner  resumed  his  seat,  placing  his  paw  on  his  eyes.  His 
address  awakened  the  sympathies  of  the  audience,  especially  of  the 
fair  sex. 

"  How  well  he  spoke  ! "  said  a  Crane. 

>k  What  wonderful  grace  and  eloquence!"  exclaimed  a  speckled 
Magpie. 

"  It  is  a  thousand  pities  that  a  youth  so  handsome  should  be  con- 
demned," said  a  Woodcock,  sighing,  "  Ah  me  !  ah  me  ! " 

It  would  almost  seem  that  in  order  to  please  some  ladies  one  must 
IM-  a  villain,  but  if  one  wishes  to  touch  their  hearts,  hypocrisy  must  be 
called  in  to  add  attractiveness  to  crime.  Let  us,  however,  return  to  our 
mutton. 

The  judge  replied — 

"  Prisoner,  your  version  of  the  occurrence  is  full  of  contradictions  and 
must  be  set  aside  as  utterly  false.  It  is  opposed  to  the  sworn  testimony 
of  the  witnesses  we  are  about  to  examine.  Let  us  assure  you,  once  for 


302  PUBLIC  AND  PRIVATE  LIFE  OF  ANIMALS. 

all,  you  will  never  be  able  to  persuade  your  fellow-brutes  that  you 
are  capable  of  one  spark  of  generosity.  Your  antecedents  are  de- 
plorable." 

Prisoner.  "  Alas  !  I  have  always  been  the  victim  of  calumny.'' 

"  You  appear  to  have  been  reared  in  a  hotbed  of  crime.  At  two  years 
old  you  bit  the  mother  who  nursed  you." 

Prisoner.  "  She  bit  me  first." 

"Later  in  life  you  fell  a-quarrelling  with  one  of  your  neighbours  and 
called  him  a  Toad  ! " 

Prisoner.  "  He  had  called  me  an  Alligator." 

"Three  years  ago  you  were  seen  prowling  round  the  royal  rabbit 
warren,  a  place  which  no  animal  of  your  species  is  permitted  to 
enter." 

Prisoner.  "  My  lord,  I  never  set  foot  inside  it." 

"  Perhaps  not,  but  you  intended  to  get  in  there,  and  to  create  a 
disturbance  inside.  The  gentlemen  of  the  jury  will  know  how  to  take 
all  these  circumstances  into  account." 

The  hearing  of  the  witnesses  followed,  the  Wolf  cross-examining  each 
with  great  ability — calm  with  some,  ardent,  jocular,  or  sarcastic  with 
others,  always  ready  with  a  reply  to  any  damaging  statement.  Little 
by  little,  nevertheless,  his  strength  failed  him ;  to  the  strain  of  over- 
excitement  there  succeeded  a  sudden  prostration,  and  at  last  he  fainted 
away. 

The  trial  had  to  be  adjourned  till  the  following  week.  For  some 
days  the  Wolf  was  too  feeble  to  appear.  Never  has  an  illustrious 
animal,  the  head  of  a  family  or  a  prince  adored  by  his  people — as 
official  proclamations  assure  us — excited  so  keen  a  public  interest 
during  sickness  as  did  this  unlucky  Wolf.  The  habitues  of  the  court 
feared  lest  a  sensational  prosecution  should  be  lost  to  them.  The  judge's 
heart  bled  lest  this  important  and  popular  trial  should  come  to  an  end, 
depriving  him  of  the  opportunity  of  summing  up,  and  so  dealing  with  the 
evidence  as  to  present  to  the  jury  the  distorted  form  of  justice  seen 
through  the  illusive  medium  of  the  law.  The  executioner,  his  keen 
blade  athirst  for  a  victim,  trembled  lest  it  should  be  robbed  of  its  proper 
prey.  The  Vulture  general  dreaded  lest  his  eloquent  speech  should 
have  to  be  shelved,  again  undelivered — a  speech  that  had  cost  him 
three  weeks  of  close  study. 

Every  morning  the  press  published  a  bulletin  of  the  Wolfs  con- 
dition. 


CELEBRATED  TRIALS.  303 

"  The  accused  suffers  dreadfully,  and  is  closely  confined  to  bed.  He 
has  always  a  number  of  Leeches  near  him;  nevertheless  he  seems 
calm  and  resigned." 

"  The  prisoner  had  a  bad  night.  Several  Geese  of  the  aristocracy 
have  sent  to  the  prison  to  inquire  after  his  health." 

"  The  accused  recovers  slowly,  he  devotes  his  hours  of  convalescence 
to  reading  and  writing.  The  chief  subject  of  his  study  is  the 
*  Proverbial  Philosophy  of  Martin  Tupper.'  He  has  used  during  his 
captivity  two  thousand  nine  hundred  and  twenty-one  sheets  of  paper. 
He  is  composing  a  drama  in  seventeen  acts,  entitled  '  Virtue's  Triumph,' 
also  a  philosophical  treatise  on  the  desirability  of  abolishing  capital 
punishment." 

The  following  verses  were  penned  by  the  prisoner,  and  will  doubtless 
be  read  with  the  interest  they  deserve  : — 


"  Ah,  hapless  is  the  prisoner's  fate  in  couvict  cell  condemned  to  pine, 
While  birds  abroad  their  songs  uplift,  and  fields  in  summer's  glory  shine. 
If  breeze-borne  from  the  far-off  flock,  the  fitful  tinkling  bells  are  heard, 
If  corn-fields  wave  their  nodding  ears,  by  wanton  zephyrs  lightly  stirred, 
All  these  the  wretch's  sorrows  swell,  he  scents  but  may  not  see  the  flowers, 
Aud  darker  grows  the  lonely  gloom  which  broods  o'er  all  his  friendless  hours. 

II. 

"  Soft  coos  the  plaintive  dove,  the  waves  in  whispering  throbs  their  music  pour, 
Each  after  each  in  cadence  breaks,  and  dies  in  rippling  on  the  shore  ; 
The  woods  and  winds  their  voices  blend,  no  heed  the  cheerless  captive  pays  ; 
No  joy  to  him  the  sunbeam  brings,  which  o'er  the  smiling  meadow  plays. 
Unhappy  outcast !  not  for  thee  does  universal  gladness  reign, 
These  joys  were  all  in  mockery  sent  to  wring  thy  breast  with  deadlier  pain. 

III. 

"  The  world  outside,  the  busy  world,  its  dear  familiar  rounds  may  tread, 
But  vain  are  dreams  of  pleasant  life,  when  life's  long-lingering  hope  has  fled. 
Then,  prisoner,  cease  to  shake  thy  bars  :  no  mercy  cold  mute  iron  shows  ; 
In  torments,  terrors,  threats,  and  tears,  thy  few  remaining  days  must  close. 
Thy  doom  is  sealed ;  the  gaolers  stern  may  never  more  their  grip  relax, 
Until  the  headsman  comes  to  claim  thee  for  his  hungry  axe." 

I  avow,  ye  gentlemen  of  the  press,  that  the  sort  of  enthusiasm  of 
which  this  miserable  Wolf  became  the  object,  inspired  me  with  sad 
reflections.  I  have  heard  of  unfortunate  Nightingales,  who  for  long  years 
together  have  poured  forth  the  most  sublime  songs  without  ever  rising 


304  PUBLIC  AND  PRIVATE  LIFE  OF  ANIMALS. 

from  obscurity,  or  obtaining  a  wider  fame  than  that  embraced  in  their 
native  woodland  shade,  and  yet  this  Wolf,  because  he  has  committed  a 
foul  crime,  saw  his  clumsy  doggerel  rapturously  applauded.  I  know  of 
some  good  animals  who,  though  they  have  proved  themselves  heroes  of 
virtue,  have  never  got  a  single  line  from  the  public  press.  Nevertheless 
the  minutest  sayings  and  doings  of  this  condemned  wretch  have  been 
chronicled  to  please  the  public  craving.  Mammas  who  would  have 
thought  twice  before  placing  the  fables  of  Florian  in  the  hands  of  their 
daughters — mammas  strict  even  in  the  choice  of  their  own  reading, 
have  in  the  family  circle  freely  discussed  details  which  initiated  their 
children  into  all  the  refinements  of  crime  and  depravity.  Without 
ignoring  evil,  could  not  the  reports  of  crime  be  so  framed  as  to  avoid 
the  ghastly  pomp  and  morbid  parade  with  which  they  appear  in  the 
newspapers  1 

If  an  editor  were  to  confine  himself  exclusively  to  the  relation  of  good 
actions,  he  would  frequently  have  to  supply  blank  sheets  to  his  readers. 

As  soon  as  the  prisoner  was  able  to  appear  at  the  bar,  the  proceed- 
ings began  anew,  and  continued  eight  days.  Twenty-eight  witnesses 
were  heard  for  and  against  the  Wolf,  while  judges,  jurymen,  counsel,  and 
defendants  poured  out  their  questions,  interruptions,  and  observations 
in  a  never-ceasing  flood.  The  result  was  that  the  whole  affair,  clear 
and  simple  as  it  had  been  at  first,  became  gradually  so  confused  as  to 
be  almost  incomprehensible. 

Most  lawsuits  are  like  the  water  of  a  fountain — the  more  it  is  stirred 
up,  the  muddier  it  grows. 

The  prisoner  had  used  so  many  subterfuges  to  rivet  attention,  he 
became  so  thoroughly  the  lion  of  the  day,  that  a  profound  feeling  of 
sympathetic  emotion  prevailed  when  the  Vulture  delivered  himself  of 
the  concluding  speech  for  the  prosecution. 

"  Gentlemen  of  the  jury,"  he  said,  "  before  I  enter  upon  the  details 
already  submitted  to  your  intelligent  consideration,  my  duty  commands 
me  imperiously  to  put  to  you  a  question  as  grave  as  it  is  important.  I 
ask  you  with  feelings  of  the  deepest  grief  and  bitterest  pain — I  ask  you, 
what  is  society  coming  to  ?  In  truth,  gentlemen,  turn  where  we  will, 
look  in  which  direction  we  may,  we  discover  nothing  but  disorder — 
disorder,  gentlemen,  among  quadrupeds,  among  bipeds,  among  geese, 
though  they  may  use  but  one  leg  at  a  time.  What  we  see  is  neither 
more  nor  less  than  symptoms  of  disorganisation,  from  bottom  to  top, 
from  root  to  core.  Yes,  gentlemen,  the  social  fabric  is  being  under- 


CELEBRATED  TRIALS.  305 

mined,  the  social  body  is  corrupting ;  it  totters  to  its  fall,  and  fall  it 
will,  gentlemen,  unless  you  are  able  to  rear  up  a  barrier  which  shall 
arrest  its  dreadful  downward  progress  towards  moral  dissolution." 

The  orator  proceeded  to  view  the  crime  in  every  possible  light, 
showing  how  such  atrocities  were  committed  in  ancient  times,  how  they 
might  be  committed  at  any  time  by  anybody,  and  how  the  guilt  of  this 
particular  crime  had  been  clearly  brought  home  to  the  prisoner. 

The  counsel  for  the  defence  replied  in  an  effective  series  of  vigorous 
croaks,  having  first  declared  that  in  his  opinion  the  finest  spectacle  on 
earth  was  that  of  innocence  overtaken  by  misfortune. 

At  half-past  twelve  the  jurors  retired  to  a  silent  copse  to  deliberate, 
and  soon  returning,  found  the  culprit  guilty  on  all  the  charges  of  the 
indictment. 

The  judge  touchingly  inquired  of  the  felon  whether  he  had  any 
objection  to  the  sentence  of  death  being  passed  upon  him,  to  which  the 
prisoner  replied  with  a  feeble  grin. 

"  The  Wolf  is  condemned  to  be  hanged," 

The  immense  crowd  remained  gloomy  and  speechless,  not  a  word,  not 
even  a  bleat  disturbed  the  scene,  not  a  tail  gave  an  involuntary  wag. 
One  would  have  imagined,  when  viewing  all  eyes  bent  on  the  Wolf,  and 
all  beaks  hushed  and  dumb,  that  the  assembly  had  been  suddenly 
turned  to  stone,  or  that  an  electric  shock  had  struck  them  all  motionless 
for  ever. 

Tin  Wolf  was  hanged  this  morning,  gentlemen,  and  some  zoophytes 
took  good  care  to  avail  themselves  of  the  opportunity  for  a  demonstra- 
tion in  favour  of  the  abolition  of  capital  punishment.  I  confess  that 
their  arguments  have  little  effect  on  me.  I  cannot  conceive  why 
they  made  so  much  fuss  to  save  a  wretch  .who  destroyed  his  brother. 
It  is  to  punish  him  more  severely,  they  say,  that  they  would  per- 
mit him  to  live !  How  they  deceive  themselves !  The  convict 
always  cherishes  the  consoling  hope  of  being  one  day  able  to  escape. 
It  may  be  he  will  settle  down  contentedly  to  the  undisturbed  round  of 
prison  life.  From  a  wretched  outcast  who  gained  a  precarious  subsist- 
ence by  crime,  he  comes  to  take  pleasure  in  his  banishment.  The 
burden  of  care  has  been  lifted  from  his  back  His  wants  are  provided 
for  by  the  State,  and  he  need  no  longer  dread  the  horrors  of  dying  from 
hunger.  The  punishment  inflicted  has  given  him  at  last  a  recognised 
position  in  society. 

If  the  penalty  of  death  is  to  cease  to  be  carried  into  effect,  the  nations 

U 


306  PUBLIC  AND  PRIVATE  LIFE  OF  ANIMALS. 

of  Europe,  and  the  world  at  large,  must  commence  by  the  abolition  of 
war,  for  on  the  field  of  battle  thousands  of  innocent  lives  are  sacrificed 
as  the  penalty  of  the  guilt  or  misgovernment  of  a  single  individual. 

Let  kings  and  emperors  so  raise  the  moral  tone  of  their  statesmen 
and  subjects  as  to  enable  them  practically  to  carry  out  the  Divine 
command,  "Thou  shalt  not  kill." 

Twenty-two  different  portraits  of  the  Wolf  were  issued,  no  one  of  them 
resembling  another,  yet  all  guaranteed  likenesses. 


The  complete  account  of  the  trial,  drawn  up  by  a  clever  shorthand 
writer,  was  sold  by  thousands.  The  memory  of  the  Wolf  was  also 
enshrined  in  verse  and  recited  in  the  streets. 


Give  ear,  Jays,  Hawks,  and  Magpies, 
Attend,  all  Kites  and  Crows, 


CELEBRATED  TRIALS.  307 


A  story  we  shall  now  unfold 
More  black  than  ye  suppose. 

II. 

"  The  story  of  a  guilty  deed, 
For  harpies  vile  befitted, 
Which  cunning  Wolf  with  crafty  tongue 
And  keen-edged  tooth  committed. 


"  A  tender  Lamb  one  joyous  morn 

Beside  its  mother  played, 
The  Wolf  came  creeping  up 
And  friendliest  greeting  made. 

IV. 
"  The  Ewe  responsive  welcome  gave, 

The  Wolf  lay  down  to  sleep, 
But  soon  he  started  up  again 
And  slew  that  trustful  Sheep. 


"  '  Help,  mother  dear ! '  the  Lambkin  cried, 

But  oh  !  its  cry  was  vain, 
With  cruel  fangs  the  unsparing  Wolf 
Straight  clove  its  neck  in  twain. 

VI. 

"  But  never  while  misdeeds  abound 

Shall  wakeful  vengeance  fail, 
Two  Watch-Dogs  bold,  who  guard  the  fold. 
That  guilty  Wolf  assail. 

VII. 

"  '  Now,  comrades,'  cries  the  wily  Wolf, 

*  Some  healing  balm  obtain, 

In  yonder  cave  'tis  stored; '  but  soon 
He  found  such  tricks  were  vain . 

VIII. 
'*  For  up  and  spake  each  trusty  Hound, 

*  Thou  felon  Wolf,  say  true, 

Who  bade  thee  slay  this  blameless  Lamb, 
And  kill  its  mother  too? ' 

IX. 

'"I  cure,  not  kill,'  the  Wolf  replied, 

'  Vex  not  a  poor  physician  ; 
Such  lies,  base  curs,  would  place  my  name 
In  quite  a  false  position.' 


PUBLIC  AND  PRIVATE  LIFE  OF  ANIMALS. 


The  Watch-Dogs  drag  the  prisoner 'off. 

The  courts  his  death  decree, 
Now  hanged  in  chains  his  body  swings 

On  yonder  gallows-tree. 

MORAL. 

Whene'er  your  steps  incline  to  stray 
Along  the  sinner's  wicked  way, 
A  warning  from  this  story  take,. 

And  know  that  truth  sublime — 
Each  creature  is  a  criminal 

When  he  commits  a  crime." 


THE  BEAR;    OR,  A  BETTER  FROM  THE 
MOUNTAIN?. 


"  WHEN  introduced  to  the  world,  I  brought 
with  me  a  craving  for  solitude,  doubtless 
bestowed  for  some  wise  purpose.  But  in- 
stead of  directing  my  faculties  to  an  end 
which  answered  my  vocation  in  the  har- 
mony of  "beings,  like  most  gifted  natures,  I 
followed  my  own  inclinations. 

"Soon  after  the  event  which  brought 
me  to  light,  a  fall  from  a  lofty  tree  lamed 
me  for  life,  and  contributed  not  a  little 
to  render  me  a  prey  to  fits  of  melan- 
choly. 

"  Our   den   was   the  favourite   resort  of 

Bears  of  the  surrounding  district.  My  father  was  a  splendid  hunter, 
and  entertained  his  convives  sumptuously  with  the  produce  of  the 
chase.  Life  in  those  days  seemed  to  be  one  endless  round  of  dancing, 
gaiety,  and  feasting.  As  for  myself,  I  remained  a  stranger  to  my 
father's  guests,  whose  visits  bothered  me.  Although  the  good  cheer 
was  not  wholly  distasteful,  the  frequent  and  vulgar  eating,  drinking, 
and  roaring  bouts  were  odious  to  my  nature.  This  repugnance  was 
not  to  be  attributed  to  a  finely-strung  organisation,  although  modern 
philosophy  points  to  our  organisation  as  the  source  and  cause  of  our 
positive  and  negative  affections. 

Note. — This  letter  was  meant  for  private  circulation  only ;  the  young  Bear  from 
whom  it  was  received  thought  he  might  venture,  without  offence,  to  divulge  the 
secrets  of  friendship — more  especially  as  the  writer  had  died,  leaving  this,  among 
other  manuscripts,  to  his  care.  A  dead  Bear  is  not  likely  to  complain  of  ingratitude. 
—ED. 


3  io  PUBLIC  AND  PRIVATE  LIFE  OF  ANIMALS. 

"My  love  of  silence  and  solitude  at  last  settled  into  the  gloomy 
moroseness  of  a  misunderstood  Hear,  which  has  always  passed  as  the 
token  of  incomprehensible  genius,  or  of  virtue  too  pure  for  the  world. 
Years  of  self-examination,  added  to  a  growing  feeling  of  dissatisfaction, 
convinced  me  at  last  that  pride  was  the  parent  of  my  brood  of  sickly 
imaginings,  whose  ghostly  food  was  the  moonbeams,  and  the  sighing  of 
the  mountains,  as  they  whispered  about  me  to  the  passing  wind.  Before 
resipiscence,  it  was  needful  I  should  suffer  misfortune. 

"  My  parents  were  grieved  by  my  monomania.  I  had  indeed  deter- 
mined to  leave  them,  and  seek  some'  distant  secluded  spot  in  which  I 
might  remain  undisturbed  and  alone.  Conscience  smote  me  in  vain ; 
my  project  was  at  last  confided  to  a  friend  of  the  family,  who  after  I 
had  left  broke  the  news  to  my  parents,  telling  them  I  had  voluntarily 
renounced  the  world.  Never  shall  I  forget  stealing  like  a  thief  from 
the  home  of  my  childhood.  The  morning  mist  rose  over  the  mountain 
from  the  valleys  in  blinding  masses.  Soon  settling  into  clouds,  one  of 
pearly  whiteness,  fringed  with  the  golden  light  of  dawn,  floated  like  a 
curtain  in  front  of  my  old  home. 

"It  was  a  glorious  scene;  I  could  dimly  descry  my  father  returning 
from  the  chase  laden  with,  a  store  of  game.  Snow  mantled  the  heights, 
and  an  icy  wind  rising  with  the  sun  shook  the  dark  pines.  The  violence 
of  the  wind  increased,  the  clouds  were  driven,  torn  into  shreds,  against 
the  jagged  rocks,  and  scattered  like  flames  of  living  fire  flying  over  the 
pine  forests.  The  wind,  after  a  fearful  blast  and  deep-drawn  sigh, 
paused  as  if  to  view  the  sport,  then  rising  suddenly,  lifted  the  vapour 
from  the  hollows,  chasing  it  from  its  warm  bed  up  the  snowy  steeps, 
and  spreading  it  out  in  a  dark  veil  across  the  sun.  In  the  deep  gloom 
the  voices  of  a  thousand  fiends  seemed  to  rise  from  vale  and  crag.  The 
caverns  and  gorges  were  filled  with  the  spirits  of  a  gathering  storm, 
shrieking  and  clamouring  like  a  crowd  at  the  gates  of  hell,  impatient 
to  be  let  loose  to  lay  waste  the  land.  At  last  they  burst  forth ;  onward 
they  came,  guided  by  a  sword  of  lightning  that  shivered  a  great  rock 
close  to  my  feet,  and  pierced  the  heart  of  my  favourite  tree.  I  rolled 
over  in  a  faint  of  panic  fear,  and  awoke  to  see  the  wreck  of  many  a 
green  sapling,  the  pathways  strewn  with  leaves,  branches,  and  the 
trunks  of  giant  pines.  The  storm  had  abated,  and  in  its  track  left 
angry  torrents  leaping  from  the  once  dry  rocks,  gathering  force  and 
roaring  in  brown  torrents  down  through  the  chasms,  to  flood  and  wreck 


THE  BEAR.  311 


the  smiling  plains  beneath.  This  is  not  all,  for  a  sentimental  Bear  is 
a  great  observer. 

"  The  sun  again  shone  upon  the  scene  with  the  brightness  of  hope 
to  the  torn  breast  of  Nature,  for  every  green  thing  took  heart  and 
expanded  beneath  its  welcome  rays.  As  for  me,  nothing  daunted,  I 
started  and  pursued  my  way  until  I  found  a  spot  inaccessible  to  every- 
thing but  sweet  solitude  and  myself. 

"  During  five  years  my  only  visitor  was  an  Eagle  who  perched  on  a 
stunted  tree  not  far  off.  No  other  living  creature  had  ventured  to 
invade  my  horizon. 

"  My  occupations  were  very  simple.  At  dawn  I  sat  on  a  ledge  of  rock 
watching  sunrise.  The  freshness  of  the  morning  filled  me  with  a  sense 
of  newness  of  life,  and  a  vividness  of  imagination  whose  fruit  was  a 
palingenesian  poem,  in  which  I  meant  to  express  all  the  griefs  of  those 
who  had  raised  the  cup  of  happiness  to  their  lips,  only  to  find  it  empty 
and  polluted. 

"  During  the  day  I  studied  the  healing  properties  of  plants,  while 
my  evenings  were  devoted  to  watching  the  stars  appear  one  by  one  in 
the  sky.  My  heart  expanded  when  gazing  on  the  moon  and  the  sweet 
planet  Venus,  and  I  even  at  times  imagined  I  must  have  had  some  hand 
in  creating  the  stars  and  moon,  in  order  that  they  might  shine  for  my 
special  benefit.  Five  years  were  passed  in  dreaming,  after  which  my 
eyes  opened  to  behold  the  vanity  of  a  Bear.  My  illusions  vanished, 
and  objects  appeared  in  their  true  colours.  A  sense  of  loneliness  took 
hold  of  me,  the  stars  lost  their  lustre,  the  flowers  and  grasses  their 
ethereal  fragrance  and  heavenly  hues.  I  considered  my  limbs,  my 
claws,  my  coat,  and  behold  they  were  made  for  climbing,  crawling, 
clutching,  and  covering  my  nakedness.  I  found  I  could  neither  climb 
to  high  heaven  nor  clutch  the  stars ;  on  the  contrary,  my  attributes 
were  practical,  brutish,  and  earthly.  These  mortifying  but  useful  dis- 
coveries compelled  me  to  seek  other  scenes — to  return,  in  fact,  to  the 
world  and  rejoin  my  fellows. 

"  Back  I  accordingly  made  my  way,  and,  all  unused  to  the  craft  of 
wise  Bears,  became  a  prey  to  the  cunning  of  men. 

"  I  started  one  morning  early  to  carry  out  my  resolution,  and  had  not 
proceeded  far  when  strange  sounds  smote  my  ear,  voices  shouting,  '  A 
Bear !  a  Bear  ! ! '  Pausing  to  listen  where  the  sounds  came  from,  I  was 
suddenly  struck  and  stunned  by  an  invisible  weapon  which  sent  me 
rolling  over  on  the  ground,  where  I  was  immediately  surrounded  by 


312  PUBLIC  AND  PRIVATE  LIFE  OF  ANIMALS. 

four  savage  Dogs,  followed  by  three  more  savage  men.  In  spite  of  the 
pain  of  my  wound  I  struggled  bravely,  but  was  at  last  overpowered, 
and  fainted  from  loss  of  blood. 

"  Upon  recovering  I  found  myself  tied  to  a  tree  with  a  rope  fastened 
to  a  ring  in  my  nose.  To  this  day  I  have  never  been  able  to  make 
out  how  that  solid  metal  ring  was  spirited  into  my  nose.  Verily 
the  skill  of  man  passeth  the  knowledge  of  Bears !  Homer  says  the 
man  who  has  lost  his  liberty  has  lost  half  his  soul.  I  had  sustained 
that  loss,  and  had  gained  a  permanent  ornament,  so  fixed  that  to  regain 
my  liberty  I  must  sacrifice  my  snout.  There  was  no  help  for  it,  I  had 
been  rudely  pulled  up  to  survey  my  changed  position.  Wherein  did  the 
change  consist  ?  Sun,  moon,  and  stars  were  still  above  me,  but  they  had 
no  longer  the  same  interest  for  me  ;  they  were  simply  sun,  moon,  stars, 
and  nothing  more — heavenly  bodies  having  their  own  affairs  to  look 
after,  while  I  had  mine,  which  proved  all-absorbing.  Formerly  the 
beautiful  in  nature  was  my  constant  feast ;  there  it  was  still  around  me, 
but  it  had  lost  its  old  fascination  and  power  of  feasting  the  senses. 

"  The  truth  is,  I  had  never  really  renounced  the  world.  For  a  time 
I  was  the  slave  of  morbid  fancies,  and  had  no  more  given  up  the  flesh- 
and-blood  interest  in  life,  than  does  the  Buddhist  bonze,  who,  while  he 
courts  seclusion  and  broods  over  the  ethics  of  his  creed,  is  careful  to 
nourish  and  cherish  the  material  part  of  his  being. 

"  Here  I  was,  by  a  mere  fluke  of  misfortune,  brought  face  to  face 
with  my  real  self,  a  heavy-footed,  full-grown,  and  withal  sentimental 
Bear.  Many  days  passed  in  a  sort  of  stupor  of  despair,  followed  by  the 
sweet  inward  confession  of  my  sins,  which  brought  resignation  and  a 
calm  I  had  never  before  experienced.  If  anything  could  replace  the  loss 
of  liberty,  it  was  the  repose  of  my  new  life,  for  my  master  showed  me 
uniform  kindness.  I  was  commensal  of  his  house  by  day,  and  by  night 
was  consigned  to  a  stable  with  some  other  socially-disposed  animals. 

"  Soon  after  daybreak  I  was  taken  to  the  doorway,  where,  seated 
beneath  a  plane-tree,  the  hours  passed  pleasantly  in  playing  with  my 
master's  children,  who  showed  me  much  affection,  while  the  thorough- 
fare along  the  highroad  procured  endless  amusement. 

"  On  fete-days  the  rustics  came  to  dance  under  the  tree ;  for  my 
master  was  an  innkeeper,  and  his  house  a  favourite  resort. 

"  There  the  noise  of  jingling  glasses  and  songs  of  gay  spirits  sounded 
from  dawn  to  sunset.  I  had  always  a  formal  invitation  to  the  dances, 
which  commenced  after  the  evening  repast,  and  were  kept  up  far  into 


THE  BEAR.  313 


the  night.  Usually  I  had  the  good  fortune  to  open  the  ball  with  the 
prettiest  girl  of  the  crowd,  by  a  dance  similar  to  the  one  in  vogue  a 
Crete,  invented  for  the  amiable  Ariadne.  Since  then  I  have  been 
enabled  to  study  the  private  life  of  men  of  rank,  those  on  the'  upper 
range  of  the  social  ladder,  and  give  it  as  my  conviction  that  the  poor 
mountaineers  have  a  happier  lot  in  life  than  those  regarded  by  the  world 
as  the  highly-favoured  ones.  The  conclusion  forces  itself  upon  me,  that 
men  are  happy  just  in  proportion  as  they  are  ignorant.  It  is  sad  it 
should  be  so,  as  it  brings  them  down  to  the  level  of  the  beast,  and 
tempts  some  to  regard  even  the  Bear,  owing  to  the  simplicity  of  his 
nature  and  habits,  as  an  infinitely  happier  animal  than  man.  My 
rustic  life  lasted  six  months,  during  which  time  I  followed  the  example 
of  Apollo,  deprived  of  liis  glory,  guarding  the  flock  of  Admetus. 

"  One  day,  while  I  was  seated  as  usual  beneath  the  tree,  a  postchaise 
drawn  by  four  horses  stopped  at  the  door,  and  I  learned  that  its 
occupant,  who  had  the  air  of  a  travelling  aristocrat,  was  a  poet  of  noble 
birth  and  European  fame,  who  had  been  voyaging  in  search  of  adven- 
ture. This  personage  left  the  carriage  to  take  some  refreshment,  and 
during  his  stay  I  seemed  to  be  the  subject  of  a  conversation  which 
ended  in  the  stranger  placing  some  pieces  of  gold  in  the  hand  of  my 
master,  who  undid  my  chain  and  consigned  me  to  the  vehicle. 

"  The  peaceful  valley  where  I  had  spent  so  many  happy  days  was 
leagues  oft'  before  I  recovered  from  my  surprise.  It  is  needless  to 
remark  that  any  change  in  my  mode  of  life  caused  me  much  pain 
and  anxiety.  Believe  me,  dear  reader,  happiness  is  only  to  be  found 
in  the  monotony  of  an  uneventful  life. 

"  As  the  scenes  of  my  youth  faded  in  the  distance,  sorrow  took  pos- 
session of  my  heart,  and  at  last  I  bade  adieu  to  my  dear  mountains.  I 
felt  for  the  first  time  that  loss  of  one's  country  is  immortal,  and  that 
travels  only  produce  fatigue  of  body  and  mind.  Now  I  was  enabled  to 
comprehend  how  Calypso,  arrayed  in  all  her  charms,  could  not  tempt 
Ulysses  to  abandon  his  poor  but  much-loved  Ithaca,  or  to  relinquish 
the  noble  ambition  which  induced  him  to  return  and  behold  once  more 
the  smoke  rising  from  his  chimney. 

"  '  Vivite  felices,  quibus  est  fortuna  peracta! 
Vobis  parta  quies,  uobis  maris  scquor  araudum.' 

"  We  embarked  at  Bayonne  on  board  a  ship  setting  sail  for  the  British 
Isles,  where  I  afterwards  passed  two  years  with  my  master  in  a  Scottish 


3H  PUBLIC  AND  PRIVATE  LIFE  OF  ANIMALS. 

castle.  This  gifted  man  was  to  me  a  most  interesting  study ;  at  once 
poet  and  misanthrope,  his  example  sealed  my  fate  for  life,  thoroughly 
curing  me  of  the  monomania  which  had  forced  me  into  seclusion.  I 
had  at  the  same  time  contracted  a  depraved  habit  of  composing  verses 
or  rhymes,  which  I  could  not  shake  off,  never  fully  realising  that 
only  a  few  gifted  poets  have  been  enabled  to  win  fame  by  placing 
their  sentiments  on  record.  Like  most  half-fledged  misunderstood 
poets,  I  suffered  acutely,  being  no  favourite  either  of  the  Muses  or 
the  public.  Inspiration  would  not  come,  in  spite  of  great  agony 
and  superbearish  effort.  It  was  in  vain  I  lay  on  my  back  or  rolled 
on  my  belly — rhythm,  rhyme,  and  romance  proved  my  severest  task- 
masters. I  walked  fast  in  the  dark  lanes  of  the  garden,  as  Pope 
used  to  do,  scaring  the  birds  by  the  deep  growlings  that  escaped  my 
breast. 

"  Who  would  believe  it  ?  My  poetic  breakdown  stirred  the  worst 
passions  of  my  nature,  and  drove  me  to  hate  every  successful  songster — 
to  hate  past,  present,  and  future — to  hate  every  one  and  everything 
saving  my  own  soured  self. 

"  Since  Solomon's  time  many  books  have  been  written,  but  the  book 
which  shall  faithfully  picture  the  miseries  of  a  literary  life  has  yet  to 
be  penned.  My  master  himself,  with  his  acknowledged  genius  and 

inordinate I  must  not  retail  his  troubles,  as  most  worthy  recipients 

of  his  kindness  might  be  tempted  to  do.  I  si  i  all  content  myself,  as  a 
faithful  servant,  by  merely  raising  the  corner  of  the  veil.  The  Muses 
were  his  true  loves,  to  whom  he  was  fain  to  prove  unfaithful  when  he 
sought  the  joys  of  domestic  life,  to  lay  the  storms  of  his  heart  in  the 
haven  of  home.  But  it  was  all  too  late,  the  experiment  failed,  and  he 
fled  to  end  his  accumulated  woes  on  a  foreign  shore.. 

"  Here  was  a  lofty  example  for  me,  an  unfortunate  poetaster,  proving 
as  it  did  that  poetic  genius,  just  in  proportion  to  its  intensity,  dries  up 
the  font  of  social  happiness  and  plays  fearful  havoc  with  common  sense. 

"Fortunately  for  me,  as  it  gave  me  my  liberty,  whatever  it  may 
have  done  for  himself,  my  gifted  master,  at  the  sound  of  the  strife  of 
Grecian  insurrection,  determined  to  leave  England,  resolved  to  seek  a 
brilliant  tomb.  Some  days  before  his  departure,  wishing  to  make  a 
last  appearance  in  London,  he  profited  by  the  representation  of  Hamlet, 
one  of  his  favourite  plays,  to  show  himself  once  more  to  the  British 
public.  We  drove  to  the  theatre  in  an  open  carriage,  and  found  the 
place  crowded  as  we  seated  ourselves  in  a  stage-box.  Our  appearance 


THE  BEAR.  315 


created  a  tremendous  sensation,  all  eyes  and  eyeglasses  were  turned 
towards  us ;  the  ladies,  bending  over  the  balconies,  recalled  lovely  flowers 
peeping  out  from  rocky  clefts.  All  were  eager  to  get  a  glimpse  of  the 
great  poet ;  so  worshipful  indeed  was  this  well-dressed  crowd,  that  the 
play  was  totally  disregarded  till  the  ghost  of  the  prince  stalked  across 
the  stage,  and  as  a  tribute  to  Shakespeare,  the  great  character  of  the 
phantom  was  received  with  profound  respect.  The  details  of  the 
tragedy  appeared  to  be  of  a  nature  to  familiarise  the  spectators  with 
our  presence,  like  the  appropriate  music  which  introduces  and  accom- 
panies the  hero  in,  an.  opera.  But  the  ghost  was  too  signal  an  evidence 
of  creative  genius  to  be  lightly  passed  over.  This  wonderful  perform- 
ance supplied  all  the  metropolitan  journals  with  a  glowing  leader.  It 
is  to  these  papers,  for  the  past  twenty  years,  we  have  been  indebted 
for  all  the  political,  philosophical,  religious,  and  literary  achievements 
of  learned  Europe; 

"  Next  day  we  embarked  for  France,  and  as  good-luck  would  have  it, 
my  master  made  a  roundabout  journey  to  visit  some  ruins. 

"  One  evening  when  he  was  seated  at  the  foot  of  an  old  tower,  I  pro- 
fited by  the  reverie  in  which  he  was  plunged  to  make  my  escape.  For 
four  days  and  nights.  I  fled  from  mountain  to  mountain  without  once 
looking  behind..  At  last,  on  the  evening  of  the  fifth  day,  I  again  found 
myself  in  the  Pyrenees..  In  an  excess  of  joy  I  knelt  down  and 
kissed  my  native  soil,  after  which  I  made  for  the  cavern  where  I  first 
breathed  the  air.  It  was  inhabited  by  an  old  friend  of  the  family, 
who  told  me  that  my  parents  were  dead.  After  shedding  a  few  tears  to 
their  memory,  I  took  up  my  abode  on  Mount  Perdu,  and  made  myself 
a  happy  home. 

"Although  I  am  a  poet  in  a  small  way,  I  love  my  wife,  and  find 
my  children  perfect ;  they  are  moulded  very  much  after  their  father's 
image.  We  do  not  see  much  company,  almost  none,  save  one  or  two 
desperate  duns,  who  thought  so  well  of  me  as  to  come  over  here  all 
the  way  from  London  to  "  look  me  up,"  as  they  say.  Their  excuse 
for  intruding  on  my  privacy  is  that  they  frequently  pass  my  way, 
and  it  suddenly  occurs  to  them  they  have  each  a  trifling  bill  for  Mr. 
Bear.  These  scraps  of  paper  are  the  tender  links  which  bind  me  to  the 
past,  and  recall  the  licence  of  poetic  inspiration.  Happy  is  he  who 
dwells  at  home,  and  who  has  never  drifted  into  doggerel ! 

"All  I  now  require  is  to  be  left  alone  to  the  use  of  my  natural 
instincts,  which  have  ripened  under  affliction,  and  to  the  enjoyment 


PUBLIC  AND  PRIVATE  LIFE  OF  ANIMALS. 


of  the  attributes  with  which  nature  has  endowed  me.  I  have  been 
long  in  discovering  my  true  self.  Now  that  I  have  found  the  rascal, 
I  will  keep  watch  over  him,  and  prove  to  the  world  that  my  wandering 
life  has  not  been  wholly  spent  in  pursuits  of  vanity. 

'* /  hi 


"  What  more  do  I  require  1     Does  not  the  na'iad  of  the  rock  distil 
from  the  elements  an  exhaustless  store  of  water  to  quench  my  thirst  1 


THE  BEAR.  317 


The  beloved  tree  of  Cybele,  does  it  not  shelter  my  dwelling  with  its 
evergreen  boughs  r\  Above  all,  when  the  day's  toil  is  ended  and  I  return 
laden  with  the  trophies  of  the  chase,  have  I  not  a  devoted  partner  to 
welcome  me  home  ? 

"  I  have  now  no  ambition  save  one,  and  that  is  to  make  the  acquaint- 
ance of  that  heavenly  constellation  which  bears  our  noble  name." 


THE    SEVENTH    HEAVED 

VOYAGE  ABOVE  THE  CLOUDS. 


CHAPTER  OF  DREAMS. 


WAS  dead. 

Dead  as  one  perhaps 
dies  when  uncertain  whe- 
ther it  is  better  to  live 
or  to  die;  dead  without 
knowing  when  or  how. 
I  had  indeed  died  pain- 
lessly, pleasantly,  and 
mysteriously. 

So  easily  had  my  life 
left   my  body,   so    little 
had  it  suffered  in  quitting 
the  form  of  clay,  that  at 
first  my  body  did  not  perceive  the  change. 

Of  the  precise  moment  when  from  a  living  Turtle-dove  I  became  a 
corpse,  I  remember  nothing,  unless  it  be  that  before  death  the  moon 
shone  brightly  in  a  cloudless  sky ;  and  when  my  astonished  spirit  made 
out  that  it  had  fulfilled  its  duty  on  earth,  the  moon  had  not  ceased  to 
shine,  and  the  sky  was  still  cloudless.  Probably  my  death,  far  from 
quenching  the  light  of  the  moon,  or  sending  the  sky  into  mourning, 
had  made  no  visible  change  in  earth  or  heaven.  What  can  it  matter 
to  fruitful  nature  whether  a  creature  like  me  lives  or  dies  1  Yet  after 
all,  we  are  assured  that  a  Sparrow  shall  not  fall  to  the  ground  without 
its  heavenly  Father. 


THE  SE  VENTH  HE  A  VEN.  319 


II. 

I  have  no  doubt  my  spirit  rejoiced  at  finding  itself  free,  since  it 
could  have  no  real  love  for  a  body  so  impotent  to  respond  to  its  lofty 
aspirations.  In  truth,  many  times  in  the  days  of  their  union  my  poor 
flesh  had  been  almost  left  alone  to  look  after  itself,  while  my  spirit 
dreamt  at  ease  of  some  peculiar  mythical  world.  Is  it  not  possible 
during  dreams  that  the  body  is  quietly  left  to  slumber  while  the  spirit 
roams  about  in  ethereal  realms  of  its  own  1  First  it  carefully  lays  a 
telegraphic  line  from  its  slumbering  solid  dwelling  on  earth,  and  in 
an  instant  traverses  space,  sending  back  to  the  living  brain  flashes  of 
strange  intelligence  from  other  spheres. 


in. 

Yet  the  spirit  mourned,  seeing  its  old  tenement,  whose  strength  and 
weakness,  beauty  and  deformity,  were  all  so  familiar,  falling  into  decay, 
marking  the  dissolution  that  had  already  set  in,  and  would  before  long 
yield  up  the  materials  to  the  four  winds  of  heaven  and  to  the  earth 
that  supplied  them.  The  spirit  exclaimed,  "  Why  was  I  thus  released 
without  a  moment's  warning  ]  The  light  has  left  the  bright  eye,  nor 
will  the  wings  respond  to  my  wish.  I  cannot  bear  this  parting ! 
Awake,  mute  form !  awake  !  cast  a  loving  glance  across  the  bright 
scene  !  Wake,  and  tell  me  our  union  was  not  a  dream  !  Alas  !  then 
it  must  be  farewell." 

IV. 

For  the  first  time  the  appeal  of  the  spirit  remained  unanswered. 
Why  love  that  which  must  die  ?  Since  we  cannot  enjoy  the  hope  of 
eternity,  let  us  part ! 

Of  men  alone  it  is  written  that  their  spirits  after  death  shall  at 
some  future  time  reunite  with  the  body,  when  the  soul  shall  recognise 
and  reanimate  its  ancient  dust.  Nevertheless,  I  have  dreamt  that  the 
Dove  shall  again  rise  from  the  dead. 


V. 

The  silence  of  night  was  alone  disturbed  by  the  falling  leaves — for 
they  too  must  die — and  by  the  distant  approach  of  a  bird  of  prey. 


THE  SEVENTH  HE  A  VEN.  321 

Tender  flowers,  green^leaves  that  once  sheltered  my  poor  frame,  bend 
over  it  now  and  screen  its  beauty  from  the  impious  Vulture. 
t  /Alas!  the  dread  sound A came  nearer   and  yet  nearer,  and  the  deep 
.shadow  of  the  bird  of  doom  fell  on  the  peaceful  remains. 

VI. 

A  musical  voice  hailed  me  from  the  air  and  bade  me  follow.  Instinc- 
tively I  floated  upward  with  my  spirit  guide,  who  seemed  to  bear  me 
on  invisible  wings  far  beyond  the  range  of  earth. 

VII. 

In  a  moment  the  past  was  severed  from  the  future,  all  memory  of 
my  former  being  vanished.  I  soared  through  space  without  an  effort, 
obeying  my  new  condition  implicitly,  just  as  on  earth  one  loves  and 
thinks  without  knowing  why  one  does  so,  or  how  thought  and  love 
have  come  to  form  so  important  a  part  of  our  earthly  lives. 

VIII. 

I  had  floated  away  so  far  from  the  world  that  it  seemed  nothing 
more  than  a  bright  speck  in  an  ocean  of  immensity.  For  a  moment  I 
recalled  my  loss,  the  body  I  had  left  behind,  and  exclaimed,  "  Shall 
the  joys  of  my  future  banish  regret,  or  is  sorrow  also  eternal?" 

IX. 

Is  there  no  link  in  heaven  to  bind  one  to  what  is  dear  on  earth  ? 
Has  my  life  among  mortals  been  a  dream  ?  Still  I  was  wafted  upward 
and  onward  to  a  region  full  of  stars,  where  I  passed  from  one  orb  to 
another.  Bright  stars,  whither  am  I  going  ?  But  the  stars,  yielding  no 
response,  noiselessly  ranged  themselves  to  light  me  on  my  way. 

x. 

I  was  floating  in  a  realm  of  light.  Space  spread  out  before  me  like 
an  azure  veil  studded  with  diamonds.  But  the  light  of  the  stars  was 
eclipsed  by  a  greater  refulgence.  Filled  with  awe,  I  paused,  and  the 
voice — more  silvery  than  the  sweetest  tones  of  earth — whispered, 
"  Follow  me  we  shall  only  stop  in  a  blissful  region.  You  are  at  the 

x 


322  PUBLIC  AND  PRIVATE  LIFE  OF  ANIMALS. 

gates  of  paradise.     Follow  me  and  fear  not,  doubt  not.     Doubt  is  born 
of  the  devil,  faith  is  an  attribute  of  heaven. 

XL 

The  speaker  was  a  purified  immortal,  the  spirit  of  a  snow-white 
Dove  that  death  had  taken  in  all  the  beauty  of  its  youth,  unsullied  by 
the  sight  of  human  misery.  Its  mission  was  to  receive  and  guide 
liberated  spirits  on  their  way  to  the  new  world. 

/ 

XII. 

I  then  saw — what  I  had  not  been  able  to  perceive  before,  owing  to 
the  imperfection  of  my  sight  —  many  disembodied  spirits,  each,  like 
myself,  floating  towards  some  resting-place.  My  first  sensation  on  find- 
ing myself  in  such  company  was  fear  mingled  with  a  vague  hope  which 
impelled  me  onwards.  "Sweet  spirit,"  I  said  to  my  guide,  "the 
Turtle-dove's  paradise,  is  it  far?" 

"  See,"  he  replied,  smiling  at  my  impatience  —  "  see  yonder  orb 
alone.  There  is  the  seventh  heaven  j  where  our  arrival  is  awaited." 

Who  can  want  me  there  ?  I  thought.     Is  it  still  alive  ? 

XIII. 

Ascending  beyond  worlds  and  spheres  without  number,  we  alighted 
at  a  gate  whence  shone  the  most  dazzling  light,  eclipsing  the  sun  in 
brightness.  Above  the  portal  was  inscribed  in  letters  of  fire,  "  Here 
is  the  abode  of  undying  love;"  and  beneath,  "Here  is  no  change 
save  that  of  ever-growing  love."  *  The  door  flew  open,  but  what  can  I 
say  of  the  sight  revealed  to  my  gaze  ?  No  words  of  mine  can  picture 
the  glorious  light  which,  without  pain  or  strain  of  vision,  revealed 
everything  so  clearly  that  the  minutest  details  of  the  picture  could  be 
seen  and  understood. 

XIV. 

"  I  now  leave  you,"  said  my  guide,  "  at  the  threshold  of  your  new 
home."  The  words  still  lingered  in  my  ears  when  I  beheld  a  pearly 
cloud  in  the  sky ;  it  was  my  treasure,  my  Turtle-dove,  winging  its 
flight  towards  me. 

"  Ah  ! "  I  cried,  "  pure  spirit  of  my  sister,  do  I  indeed  behold  you,  my 


THE  SE  VENTH  HE  A  VEN.  323 

sister  1 "    She  came,  and  our  hearts  were  filled  with  a  sacred  joy,  for  she 
knew  me  and  loved  me  still. 

She  had  not  changed ;  yet  she  seemed  brighter,  whiter,  more  beautiful, 
and  as  I  looked,  her  beauty,  like  the  beauty  of  a  great  painting,  only 
increased.  "  Ah  !  my  well-beloved  and  long-lost  sister,  this  is  indeed  a 
joyous  meeting.  When  I  heard  of  your  death  the  pain  preyed  upon 
me,  and  I  soon  followed  you,  for  grief  broke  my  heart."  Who  dares 
to  disbelieve  in  happiness  1  Alas  !  is  it  not  a  dream  1 


XV. 

Alas  !  it  was  a  dream.     .     .     . 

But  why  awake  from  such  a  dream  ?  This  dream  that  had  carried 
me  through  space  and  filled  me  with  unmixed  joy,  had  been  of  so  short 
duration  that  I  awoke  to  find  nothing  had  changed  on  earth.  The 
moon  still  shone  in  the  clear  sky.  Nothing,  indeed,  proved  real  save 
the  bird  of  prey  circling  through  the  air  near  my  nest. 


NOTES  ON  THE  LIFE  OF  THE  AUTHOR  OF  THIS  CURIOUS  FRAGMENT. 

We  deem  it  our  duty  to  place  before  our  readers  some  biographical 
details  concerning  the  author  of  the  foregoing  fragment,  handed  to  us 
by  the  governor  of  a  lunatic  asylum. 

"  The  author  of  these  strange  imaginings  was  early  left  an  orphan. 
His  parents  without  warning,  without  even  leaving  their  future  address, 
left  him  one  morning  while  his  young  beak  was  deep  in  slumber,  buried 
in  his  callow  down.  Yet  these  good  birds,  owing  to  the  gentleness  and 
simplicity  of  their  habits,  left  a  doubtful  reputation  behind  them,  the 
only  inheritance  of  our  young  hero.  A  sympathetic  circle  of  friends 
agreed  that  they  had  come  to  an  untimely  end,  nothing  short  of  death 
could  have  caused  them  to  abandon  their  child.  One  or  two  old 
Magpies  there  were,  who,  putting  their  heads  together,  whispered 
among  themselves  that  Parisian  Doves  were  not  so  good  as  they  looked, 
and  that  they  had  purposely  deserted  the  youngster,  who  interfered  with 
the  pursuit  of  their  own  pleasure. 

"  Be  that  as  it  may,  the  parents  were  never  again  seen  or  heard  of, 
and  the  little  one  struggled  on  wonderfully,  being  greatly  indebted  to 
the  good  offices  of  some  poor  but  true-hearted  thrifty  friends.  As  soon 
as  the  orphan  could  leave  the  deserted  home  and  trust  himself  to  his 


324  PUBLIC  AND  PRIVATE  LIFE  OF  ANIMALS. 


THE  SE  VENTH  HE  A  VEN.  325 


wings,  he  commenced  a  search  which  only  ended  in  disappointment,  for 
the  lost  ones  were  nowhere  to  be  found.  For  all  that,  day  after  day 
he  persevered  in  his  vain  efforts,  saying,  '  I  must  find  my  parents,  or 
perish  in  the  attempt ! ' 

"  In  one  of  his  journeys  he  fell  in  with  a  young  Kingdove,  who  at  once 
won  his  heart,  first  attracted  by  her  guileless  beauty  and  then  conquered 
by  her  sympathy.  But  being  an  honest  bird,  this  new  sentiment  in  his 
breast  could  not  tempt  him  from  the  path  of  duty ;  on  the  contrary,  it 
only  stimulated  him  to  greater  exertion,  and  he  winged  his  flight  anew. 
'I  will  return,'  he  said;  'my  true  love  will  wait  for  me.'  So  he 
left,  and  she  waited  till  her  patience  was  worn  out  by  waiting,  and  then 
wedded  another. 

"  After  many  days  of  fruitless  search  our  Dove  returned  to  seek  his 
bride,  and  found  her  surrounded  by  the  family  of  his  rival.  The  blow 
was  too  much  for  him,  it  broke  his  heart  and  drove  him  mad. 

"  Perhaps  the  Ringdove  might  have  waited  his  return,  had  not  his 
rival  poisoned  the  ear  of  his  mistress  by  whispering  strange  rumours 
about  infidelity.  When  her  first  love  returned  she  was  seized  with 
remorse  and  despair.  What  could  she  do  1  Like  a  sensible  Ringdove, 
she  continued  to  be  a  good  mother,  redoubling  her  care  for  her  little 
ones,  and  doing  her  duty  towards  her  husband,  while  her  sorrows  were 
buried  deep  in  her  own  breast.  No  one  knew  her  secret,  even  her  most 
intimate  friends,  looking  on  her  snug  home,  said,  *  How  happy  she  must 
be  ! '  The  same  remark  is  made  of  a  great  many  who  have  never  known 
what  happiness  is. 

''As  for  the  poor  Turtle-dove,  he  was  perfectly  harmless  in  his  insanity, 
betaking  himself  constantly  to  the  top  of  a  mountain,  where  he  dreamed 
away  his  days.  That  for  which  he  had  sought  in  vain  in  the  solid 
realities  of  earth,  perchance  he  found  in  dreamland,  where  at  times 
even  the  wise  ones  of  the  world  would  like  to  abide.  But,  alas  !  they 
too  must  awake  and  be  recalled  to  the  rude  realities  of  life. 

"  After  his  death,  beneath  a  heap  of  leaves  was  found  a  manuscript 
entitled  'Memoirs  of  a  Madman,'  'Happiness  is  made  of  Dreams.'  It 
was  really  a  poem  in  prose,  written  straight  from  the  heart,  free  from 
the  fetters  of  rhyme." 

Some  feathered  wits  may  be  disposed  to  smile  at  the  poor  Turtle- 
dove, his  misfortunes  and  writings.  All  we  need  say  to  such  gaily- 
disposed  critics  is,  that  they  have  none  of  the  gentle  attributes  of  our 
loving  but  weak  Ringdove. 


326 


PUBLIC  AND  PRIVATE  LIFE  OF  ANIMALS. 


P*S, — Out  of  consideration  for  those  who  dislike  anything  obscure  in 
a  story,  we  may  add  that  the  Ringdove,  having  reared  her  brood,  when 
she  heard  of  the  fate  of  her  first  love,  died  of  a  broken  heart. 

Practical-minded  Sparrows,  and  other  common  members  of  the 
feathered  tribe,  may  think  that  the  story  would  have  been  better  as  a 
whole  had  the  lovers  wedded  and  lived  happily  together.  All  we  can 
say  to  this,  as  faithful  narrators,  is,  "  Truth  is  stranger  than  fiction." 


J_<ETTERg    FROM    A   j^WAJLJLOW   TO    A    CANARY 
BEARED    IN    A    CONVENT. 


THE   SWALLOW'S    FIRST   LETTER. 

AT  last,  dear  friend,  I 
am  free  and  flying  with 
my  own  wings.  Far 
behind  me  I  can  still 
descry  the  horrible 
barrier  of  Mount  Par- 
nassus, and  the  equally 
dreary  plateau  of  social 
conformity,  which  I 
had  already  crossed. 
In  the  air  which  I 
breathe,  and  in  my 
freedom  of  flight,  there  is  truly  an  intoxicating  charm.  On  starting  I 
cast  a  scornful  glance  on  my  companions,  the  Swallows  who  prefer  the 
solitude  and  obscurity  of  their  'deplorable  existence  to  all  the  world 
and  all  its  joys.  You  may  think  me  puffed  up  with  vanity,  one  of  the 
meanest  of  vices,  when  I  tell  you  that  nature  never  intended  me  to  do 
the  work  of  a  builder,  for  which  all  the  wretched  females  of  our  race 
seem  to  have  an  aptitude.  Let  them  spend  their  youth  in  building,  in 
polishing  with  beak  and  wing  the  inside  and  outside  of  their  dwellings. 
Let  them,  I  say,  continue  to  construct  their  homes  with  as  great  toil  as 
if  the  frail  tenements  in  which  they  rear  families  were  to  last  for  ever. 
My  efforts  to  enlighten  them  have  been  fruitless,  and  I  leave  all  those  to 
their  fate  who  fail  to  profit  by  the  experience  contained  in  the  following 
account  of  my  travels.  I  perhaps  ought  to  congratulate  myself  on  having 
no  travelling  companion,  and  never  being  tempted  wholly  to  give  up  my 
heart  and  independence  to  another.  You  have  often  told  me  in  a  tone 
of  friendly  severity  that,  constituted  as  I  am,  I  could  never  submit  to 


328  PUBLIC  AND  PRIVATE  LIFE  OF  ANIMALS. 

the  guidance  of  another,  however  much,  by  reason  of  youth  and  inex- 
perience, I  was  incapable  of  guiding  myself.  For  all  that,  I  have 
followed  my  own  course  in  spite  of  your  sage  advice,  and  I  am  proud 
of  it.  You  have  cursed  my  craving  for  seeing  the  world,  which  has 
carried  me  far  from  yourself  and  your  wise  counsels.  It  is  true  I 
greatly  esteem  your  friendship  and  value  your  advice.  The  one  has 
often  lightened  my  sad  heart,  while  the  other,  although  good,  has 
rarely  been  followed  by  me.  I  have  fully  understood  your  dread  of 
adventure,  but  it  has  never  influenced  my  pursuits.  Our  lives  and  our 
ways  have  nothing  in  common,  and  our  meeting  only  shows  all  the 
more  clearly  the  divergence  of  our  courses  in  the  world.  Our  thoughts 
do  not  harmonize,  and  our  hopes  do  not  point  to  the  same  end. 

You  first  beheld  the  day  through  the  bars  of  a  prison  in  which  you 
must  live  and  die  a  captive,  and  the  notion  that  beyond  these  bars  lie 
a  boundless  horizon  and  liberty  has  never  entered  your  head.  Doubt- 
less had  such  a  thought  crossed  your  mind,  you  would  have  crushed 
it  as  men  are  said  to  stifle  the  whisperings  of  the  devil. 

I  was  brought  forth  beneath  the  roof  of  an  old  deserted  house  in 
the  corner  of  a  wood.  The  first  noise  that  fell  upon  my  ears  was  the 
wind  whistling  through  the  trees.  It  was  a  sweet  sound,  the  very 
thought  of  it  wakes  pleasant  memories. 

The  first  sight  that  met  my  eyes  was  that  of  my  brothers  poising 
themselves  on  the  edge  of  the  nest  before  flying  away  never  to  return. 
Soon  I  followed  them. 

While  I  was  thus  beginning  my  career,  you  had  reached  maturity, 
and  your  faint  warblings  had  ripened  into  rich  melody.  Those  who 
imprisoned  you  gave  you  food,  and  you  blessed  them  for  it.  I  should 
have  cursed  them,  my  gentle  friend  !  When  the  sun  shone  brightly 
they  placed  your  cage  outside  the  window,  never  thinking  that  sun- 
stroke might  cut  you  off.  No,  you  were  their  slave,  so  that  all  seemed 
for  the  best  from  your  narrow  point  of  view.  As  for  myself,  I 
followed  the  life  of  my  nomadic  tribe,  sharing  its  toils  and  dangers, 
and  gladly  submitting  to  the  privations  experienced  on  our  journeys. 
I  became  strong  to  suffer,  and  so  long  as  I  had  free  air,  I  forgot  that 
there  was  little  else  in  my  lot  worth  having.  To  crown  all,  you  readily 
accepted  the  husband  provided  for  you,  and  implicitly  obeyed  his 
slightest  wishes.  It  was  of  course  necessary  you  should  obey  some 
one,  and  perhaps  as  well  that  your  master  should  be  your  husband. 
You  are  now  surrounded  by  a  numerous  family  whom  you  love ;  you 


LETTERS  FROM  A  SWALLOW.  329 

are  a  model  wife  and  mother.  My  ambition  does  not  extend  so  far. 
Were  I  surrounded  by  a  bevy  of  little  screamers  such  as  yours,  I  should 
die.  Your  devoted  and  much-loved  husband  would  also  be  a  terrible 
bore.  Love,  alas  !  has  torn  my  poor  heart  so  deeply  during  the  time 
it  became  its  temporary  abode,  that  I  have  barred  the  door  for  ever 
against  the  foolish  passion. 

I  am  aware  of  your  cruel  opposition  to  the  recital  of  my  griefs, 
and  you  were  kind  enough  to  attribute  my  fall  to  the  slight  importance 
I  myself  attached  to  the  duration  of  a  union  you  thought  should  be 
eternal.  You  are  welcome  to  say  whatever  you  like,  but  you  need 
never  hope  to  find  the  true  clue  to  our  misery  in  such  unions. 

Society  is  wrongly  modelled  from  beginning  to  end,  and  so  long  as 
the  dry-rot  of  conventionality  is  left  to  destroy  its  foundation  there 
will  be  no  happiness  for  superior  beings  or  loving  spirits.  Not  until  the 
entire  structure  is  levelled  with  the  ground. 

I  entrust  my  letter  to  a  bird  of  passage  who  will  cross  your 
latitude ;  the  postman  is  so  impatient  to  continue  his  course  that  I  am 
compelled  to  postpone  the  details  of  my  journey. 


THE  SWALLOW'S  SECOND  LETTER. 

I  have  striven  to  beguile  the  days  of  absence  by  relating  my 
experiences  as  they  occur  en  route,  knowing  that  loving  hearts  find  a 
charm  in  incidents  the  most  simple  and  the  most  indifferent  to 
strangers.  The  weather  favours  my  progress,  and  nature  is  arrayed  in 
her  gayest  attire.  It  seems,  indeed,  as  if  the  kindly  sun  shone  her 
brightest  to  cheer  me  on  my  way. 

I  have  made  a  multitude  of  new  acquaintances,  nevertheless  you 
nerd  neither  feel  jealous  nor  uneasy  on  my  account.  I  have  not  the 
leisure,  still  less  the  desire,  to  make  friends,  although  I  am  forced  at 
times  to  halt  and  acknowledge  courtesies,  as  my  quality  of  stranger 
has  opened  the  hearts  and  homes  of  many  hospitable  tribes.  Notwith- 
standing the  fact  that  pressing  invitations  pour  in  upon  me,  I  studiously 
refuse  to  accept  them,  preferring  as  I  do  my  wandering  life,  full  of  all 
that  is  unexpected  and  capricious,  above  the  daintiest  fare  and  the 
finest  society. 

You  predicted  ennui  and  disenchantment.  I  still  happily  await  the 
advent  of  these  foes,  taking  my  amusements  when  and  where  I  find 


330 


PUBLIC  AND  PRIVATE  LIFE  OF  ANIMALS. 


them.   Up  to  the  present  moment  these  last  have  come  unbidden  to  my 
door. 

This  morning  I  breakfasted  tete-ct-tete  with  the  most  accomplished 
singer  I  have  ever  heard,  a  Nightingale,  who,  willingly  yielding  to  my 
entreaties,  at  the  close  of  our  repast  sang  some  of  his  favourite  pieces. 


It  was  not  without  a  feeling  of  vanity  that  I  thought  of  those  who 
would  have  given  anything  to  fill  my  place.     All  distinctions,  you  know, 


LETTERS  FROM  A  SWALLO  IV.  331 

are  flattering,  and  the  one  which  made  me  the  sole  listener  to  harmony 
so  divine,  made  me  more  important  in  my  own  eyes. 

I  was  strongly  impressed  with  the  simplicity  of  the  artist.  Seeing 
him  so  neglige  in  his  dress,  so  careless  in  his  posture  and  manner,  no 
one  would  have  thought  that  he  was  a  person  so  distinguished,  at  least 
I  have  still  a  strange  illusion  that  prompts  me  to  look  for  talent  only 
beneath  a  grave  and  dignified  exterior.  I  have  discovered  that  this  is 
simply  an  illusion,  you  will  therefore  admit  I  have  made  some  progress. 

This  remarkable  tenor  informed  me  that  he  lives  for  his  pleasure,  the 
best  mode  of  living  one  can  adopt ;  so  he  said,  but  I  doubted  the  sound- 
ness of  the  opinion,  and  was  careful  not  to  be  led  away  by  doctrine  so 
heterodox. 

A  happy  and  useless  existence  is  not  what  I  dream  of,  I  who  have  the 
faculties  of  feeling  and  understanding.  My  desire  is  to  add  one  more 
stone  to  the  edifice  which  is  rising  up  in  the  shade  on  the  ruins  of  a 
dying  civilisation.  I  have  thought  for  some  time  of  entering  upon  a 
literary  career — all  my  tastes  lie  in  that  direction — as  it  would  enable  me 
to  carry  out  my  schemes  for  the  regeneration  of  females.  This  question 
has  absorbed  my  attention  from  my  earliest  youth.  I  can  picture  you 
smiling  at  what  you  call  my  folly  and  ambition,  let  me  tell  you  once 
for  all,  you  can  no  more  conceive  the  pure  happiness  to  which  I  aspire 
than  I  can  accept  life  in  your  style. 

But  what  does  it  matter ;  although  we  differ  in  opinion,  our  friend- 
ship is  true,  lasting,  and  sincere.  The  charming  sweetness  of  your 
character  enables  you  to  overlook  my  faults  and  my  extreme  vivacity, 
and  in  return  I  hope  that  my  deep  regard  helps  to  render  your  captivity 
less  galling  and  monotonous. 

I  have  just  left  my  amiable  songster,  and,  strange  as  it  may  appear, 
without  regret.  My  curiosity  and  thirst  for  knowledge  increase  daily 
since  I  have  at  last  begun  to  see  and  learn.  A  Jay  whom  I  met  in  the 
environs  preceded  me,  and  promised  to  warmly  recommend  me  on  her 
way.  In  short,  I  can  never  find  space  to  name,  far  less  to  praise,  all 
those  who  have  received  me  with  a  fraternal  welcome.  Had  I  followed 
your  timid  advice,  I  should  have  been  constantly  on  my  guard  against 
tokens  of  affection,  in  case  they  might  be  held  out  as  snares  to  betray 
me.  But  when  I  reflect  on  the  life  you  lead,  I  am  not  surprised  to  find 
you  swayed  by  warped  notions  of  the  world  and  its  winged  tribes. 
You  cannot  form  just  impressions  of  objects  seen  through  the  bars  of  a 
cage,  they  must  appear  distorted  and  confused.  It  must  be  so.  You 


332  PUBLIC  AND  PRIVATE  LIFE  OF  ANIMALS. 


have  never  left  your  retreat,  and  your  little  world  is  filled  by  five 
or  six  creatures,  objects  of  affection ;  all  this  renders  it  impossible  for 
you  to  give  an  intelligent  account  of  things  of  which  you  know 
absolutely  nothing,  or  to  appreciate  without  error  what  you  have 
never  seen. 

It  is  true  your  youth  was  passed  in  a  spacious  aviary,  where  you 
respectfully  received  the  lessons  and  counsels  of  some  old  fellows  reputed 
for  their  wisdom ;  even  these  venerable  teachers  never  breathed  the  air 
of  liberty,  and  the  sort  of  experience  of  which  they  were  proud  they 
owed  solely  to  their  great  age,  and  not  to  free  and  independent  research. 
I  feel  certain  that  I  shall  learn  all  these  sages  knew,  and  more,  in  a  single 
journey.  Before,  indeed,  I  can  venture  to  advocate  reform  in  any  shape 
I  must  travel,  and  read  the  living  books  in  birds  of  every  feather.  I 
must  study  the  degrading  positions  into  which  females  of  many  so- 
called  civilised  lands  have  drifted,  and  find  out  how  best  to  befriend 
them.  My  heart  is  filled  by  immense  projects,  and  I  need  not  disguise 
the  fact  that  I  may  not  see  you  for  many  days. 

Adieu,  it  is  getting  late ;  I  continue  my  journey — always  southwards. 

THE  CANARY  TO  THE  SWALLOW. 

Will  this  letter  ever  -reach  you,  my  child  ?  It  is  impossible  to  say, 
as  I  am  ignorant  of  the  direction  of  your  last  flight.  I  scarcely  venture 
to  hope  that  one  day  your  eyes  will  fall  on  these  words  of  maternal 
solicitude.  Yet  should  fortune  favour  me,  you  will  find  that  my  affec- 
tion is  still  unchanged,  although  it  manifests  itself  in  grumbling  fears 
for  the  safety  of  a  spirit  so  adventurous. 

I  grieved  to  see  you  set  out  on  your  journey,  nor  could  I  conceal  my 
apprehension  for  your  safety.  Unfortunately  the  union  of  our  hearts 
does  not  extend  to  our  ideas,  accordingly  I  did  not  succeed  in  changing 
your  plans.  Far  from  regarding  myself  as  infallible,  I  own  my  mistake 
in  wishing  only  for  the  things  attainable  in  my  sphere  of  life.  If  this 
be  an  error,  yours  is  surely  a  greater  one — the  ambition  which  aspires 
to  everything  beyond  your  reach.  The  false  inspiration  derived  from 
books  has  led  you  into  a  dark  road,  along  which  your  tutors,  believe  me, 
will  never  follow  you.  Your  life  has  become  an  illusion,  and  the  more 
complete  the  illusion,  the  more  terrible  will  the  disenchantment  prove. 
When  the  hour  of  awakening  does  come,  as  come  it  will,  I  tremble  for 
the  result. 


LETTERS  FROM  A  SWALLOW.  333 

I  know  that  I  am  a  mere  dotard,  and  you  are  right  to  complain  of 
my  persistency  in  heaping  sermons  upon  your  head.  Complain  if  you 
will,  but  allow  me  still  to  preach. 

I  have  been  told  that  many  of  our  sex  use  their  feathers  for  writing, 
and  I  perceive  with  regret  that  you  are  yielding  to  the  popular  mania 
with  which  they  are  possessed.  For  myself  I  seek  nothing  but  know- 
ledge, and  I  should  like  to  know  what  good  end  is  served  by  soiling 
snow-white  paper.  Let  us  handle  this  subject  freely.  Either  you  have 
great  talent,  small  talent,  or  no  talent  at  all.  I  do  not  see  it  can  be 
otherwise.  If  by  fatality  you  are  favoured  with  great  talent,  as  are  the 
males,  who  make  laws  for  others  and  reputations  for  themselves,  these 
very  males,  by  reason  of  constitutional  jealousy,  will  not  permit  you  to 
rise  superior  to  themselves.  The  highest  fame  has  always  been,  and 
must  always  be,  male-fame,  ill  begotten  as  it  is  at  times.  That  being 
so,  females  are  by  law,  and,  as  males  say,  by  nature,  unfitted  to  fill  the 
loftiest  posts  of  honour.  They  are  essentially  the  potter's  clay  fashioned 
into  humble  vessels  suited  to  adorn  or  to  become  useful  in  the  house- 
hold, whereas  the  males  are  the  marble  of  which  monuments  are 
made. 

Apart  from  the  public  life  in  which  you  are  the  slave  of  fame,  you 
may  wish  to  have  a  private  domestic  life  hidden  away  from  the  world, 
to  which  you  may  betake  yourself  when  weary  of  triumph  and  tinsel. 
"But  where  will  you  find  a  partner  vain  or  humble  enough  to  share  your 
lot,  to  joyfully  wear  the  ridiculous  livery  inflicted  on  him  by  your 
success  ?  Who  would  be  the  husband  of  a  great  female  ?  Certainly  no 
one  you  could  respect  and  look  up  to  for  counsel  and  advice.  You  will 
remain,  then,  powerful  and  solitary.  This  is  all  very  fine,  but  the 
position  is  trying,  and  high  intelligence  can  better  serve  its  God  by 
dutifully  lifting  a  small  but  compact  circle  to  its  own  level  of  happiness 
than  by  striving  to  move  the  world.  Fame  brings  many  little  cares  of 
which  I  have  not  spoken;  it  has  to  bear  hatred,  envy,  calumny — troubles 
these  which  seldom  invade  the  quiet  nest.  On  a  column  in  sight  of  all, 
and  in  the  full  blaze  of  noonday  light,  the  flaws  and  defects  of  the 
finest  marbles  are  all  observed  and  attacked  by  the  critics.  Let  us 
descend  from  the  column  and  come  to  the  nicely-poised  mind  that  would 
be  so  charming  in  some  obscurer  spots  if  only  it  could  be  schooled  to 
perform  its  great  feats  in  the  shady  nooks  of  the  world.  Here  I  lay  my 
finger  on  the  root  of  your  malady.  One  makes  a  very  good  show 
among  a  circle  of  indulgent  friends,  but  the  public  ought  not  to  be  dis- 


334  PUBLIC  AND  PRIVATE  LIFE  OF  ANIMALS. 

appointed,  for  they  did  not  complain  of  the  want  of  your  special  talent, 
and  did  not  invite  you  to  become  their  idol  in  the  temple  of  fame. 
One  must  walk  upwards  to  this  shrine  with  timid  step,  for  there  are 
more  thorns  than  roses  by  the  way.  When  the  foot  grows  bolder,  one 
becomes  used  to  the  compliments  that  are  lavished,  as  well  as  to  the 
curses  that  are  heaped,  on  one's  head  by  those  over  whose  prostrate 
forms  one  tramples.  At  last  life  loses  its  lustre,  and  you  become  the 
slave  of  a  cold,  cruel,  callous  mind,  possessed  by  aspiring  to  a  glory  it 
can  never  attain.  Critics,  at  first  silent,  grow  tired  and  bite ;  they 
rudely  signify  to  your  astonished  friends  that  after  all  you  are  no 
Eagle,  but  only  a  Swallow. 

This  dawn  of  opposition  irritates  you,  and  self-love  seeks  consolation 
in  the  rapid  flatteries  of  supporters  whose  pride  prompts  them  to  sustain 
you  at  all  hazards,  and  the  clever  head,  which  might  have  been  a 
reasonable  one,  is  turned  and  lost ! 

I  will,  with  your  leave,  now  pass  on  to  the  third  point  in  my  obser- 
vations, glancing  for  a  moment  at  the  picture  of  a  daughter,  wife,  or 
mother  who,  in  addition  to  all  the  other  virtues,  cultivates  literature. 
She  must  indeed  be  an  amiable  authoress  who  with  one  hand  rocks  the 
babe  to  sleep,  while  with  the  other  she  wields  the  pen  that  is  to  wake 
the  world. 

During  periods  of  inspiration  the  children  tear  her  manuscripts, 
and  add  to  her  finest  pages  a  sort  of  illumination  on  which  she  had 
not  reckoned.  Here  you  have  a  faithful  description  of  this  fantastic 
being  whose  infants  are  reared  on  a  mixture  of  milk  and  ink.  It  is 
not,  however,  into  the  ridiculous  that  I  fear  to  see  you  fall.  I  know 
your  tastes  too  well,  and  hope  they  will  shield  you  from  such  depths 
of  depravity. 

What  I  dread  most  is  the  vanity  which  has  led  you  to  adopt  a 
course  so  ridiculous  as  advocating  the  right  of  females.  It  may  lead 
you  into  many  grievous  mistakes  unless  common  sense  comes  to  the 
rescue. 

I  have  spoken  thus  freely  in  order  that  my  advice  may  be  of 
service  to  you.  Had  I  loved  you  less,  my  letter  would  have  been 
milder  and  more  pleasant  to  read.  You  may  find  it  a  bitter  pill  to 
swallow,  but  it  will  cure  your  malady  ! 


LETTERS  FROM  A  SWALLOW.  335 

THIRD  LETTER  FROM  THE  SWALLOW. 

A  NEST  OF  ROBINS. 

I  have  by  the  merest  chance  fallen  in  with  a  friend,  a  most  obliging 
creature,  who  will  wait  for  this  letter  and  deliver  it  to  you.  He  is  the 
bearer  of  important  despatches,  and  appears  worthy  of  the  trust  placed 
in  him.  While  he  explores  the  environs  of  my  present  halting-place, 
I  hastily  take  up  the  pen  to  let  you  know  my  whereabouts,  and  to 
recount  the  events  of  my  journey.  Happily  they  are  few  and  far 
between. 

As  you  do  not  seem  to  approve  of  female  genius,  I  must  make  an 
effort  to  suppress  the  poetry  that  flows  naturally  from  my  pen.  When 
I  have  finished  a  volume  of  inspired  writing,  you  shall  have  a  copy  to 
study  at  leisure.  Then,  and  not  till  then,  shall  I  expect  justice  at  your 
hands. 

I  should  have  delayed  writing,  had  circumstances  not  forced  me  to 
remind  you  of  my  existence. 

The  /lay  dawned  [under  depressing  auspices,  which  will  account  for 
the  sad  tone  of  this  epistle.  On  arriving  in  this  delightful  neighbour- 
hood, I  made  the  acquaintance  of  a  most  agreeable  family,  consisting 
of  a  father,  mother,  and  two  little  ones,  the  latter  still  under  shelter 
of  the  maternal  wings.  As  they  had  greeted  my  arrival  with  much 
grace  and  show  of  kindness,  I  thought  it  my  duty,  on  waking  this 
morning,  to  make  a  formal  call  at  their  nest.  The  manner  in  which  I 
was  received  raised  them  tenfold  in  my  estimation,  but  just  as  I  had 
left  them  to  return  to  my  lodging,  the  air  was  suddenly  filled  with 
cries  of  distress.  On  wheeling  round,  I  perceived  that  the  situation 
was  dreadful :  one  of  the  young  brood  had  fallen  to  the  ground  in 
imprudently  trying  his  wings ;  although  the  fall  was  not  great,  danger 
was  none  the  less  imminent.  An  enormous  bird  of  prey,  after  swoop- 
ing through  the  air  in  ominous  circles,  descended  like  a  stone,  straight 
to  the  scene  of  the  disaster.  The  mother's  resolution  was  soon  taken  ; 
addressing  a  few  words  to  her  husband  touching  the  care  of  those 
she  was  leaving  behind,  and  casting  a  fond  look  on  the  loved  ones, 
she  descended  to  the  ground.  There,  showing  a  bold  front  to  the 
enemy,  she  covered  her  little  one  with  her  wings ;  but  the  dread  foe 
kept  slowly  approaching,  and  at  last  quickened  his  pace,  trusting  to 
the  immobility  of  his  victim  for  an  easy  victory.  The  poor  mother 


336  PUBLIC  AND  PRIVATE  LIFE  OF  ANIMALS. 

unflinchingly  met  her  doom;  for  the  fierce  bird,  with  eyes  of  fire, 
pounced  down  upon  her  and  carried  her  away,  leaving  the  little  one 


unharmed  on  the  ground.     After  a  moment's  silence,  the  father  de- 


LETTERS  FROM  A  SWALLOW.  337 

scended  and  bore  from  the  sad  spot  all  that  had  been  left  by  the  bird 
of  prey.  I  laid  the  little  one  in  the  hollow  of  the  nest  and  took  the 
vacant  place  of  the  mother.  My  sympathy  rendered  me  speechless, 
while  the  father  was  mute  with  grief,  he  whose  breast  but  a  moment 
before  had  been  bursting  with  joyous  song.  Suddenly  a  dull  noise 
sounded  near,  our  heads  turned  to  the  quarter  whence  a  new  danger 
seemed  to  threaten  us.  Imagine  our  joy  when,  in  place  of  danger,  we 
beheld  our  oppressor  felled  to  the  earth  by  an  unseen  hand,  and  the 
lost  one  returning  safe  to  the  nest.  The  delight  of  thus  meeting  one 
whom  we  thought  dead  filled  all  our  hearts,  and  caused  us  to  feel  as 
one  in  happiness. 

Yet  I  feared  the  indiscretion  of  remaining  too  long  to  share  their 
joy,  and  had  just  retired  when  a  huge  animal,  one  of  the  species 
inhabiting  towns  called  Poacher,  whistling  gaily,  approached  the 
tree  which  sheltered  the  Robins.  On  his  back  he  carried  a  bag,  from 
which  the  head  of  their  enemy  hung  out,  and  on  his  shoulder 
the  instrument  that  delivered  them.  The  poor  mother  could  not 
restrain  a  cry  of  joy  on  recognising  her  dead  foe.  It  was  a  cry  that 
might  have  moved  a  heart  of  stone,  but  brutes,  it  is  said,  have  no 
hearts. 

"  Oh !  oh ! "  cried  the  Poacher,  "  you  sing  sweetly,  your  song  is 
most  agreeable,  but  I  would  prefer  the  sound  of  you  roasting  on  the 
spit.  The  little  ones  would  not  be  worth  eating,  still  one  must  be 
careful  not  to  separate  what  God  has  united." 

After  these  words,  he  brought  down  my  friends  and  consigned 
them  to  his  bag.  That  is  the  reason  of  my  sadness." 


THE  SWALLOW'S  FOURTH  LETTER. 

MY  DEAR  FRIEND, — I  have  been  suffering  for  some  days  past  from  the 
effects  of  a  slight  accident  which  befell  me  on  the  road  and  compelled 
me  to  rest.  In  spite  of  regrets  and  impatience,  I  see  no  prospect  of 
moving  out  of  my  narrow  uncomfortable  abode.  Yet  I. ought  to  feel 
thankful  for  shelter  of  any  kind.  Overtaken  some  distance  from  my 
resting-place  by  a  great  storm,  the  wind  drove  me  with  such  violence 
against  a  wall  as  to  fracture  my  leg.  Nothing  surprises  me  more  than 

Y 


338  PUBLIC  AND  PRIVATE  LIFE  OF  ANIMALS. 

my  inability  to  proceed,  the  injury  seems  so  trifling.  A  tribe  of 
Sparrows,  who,  with  characteristic  foresight,  established  themselves 
before  the  bad  weather  set  in  beneath  the  roof  which  shelters  me,  have 
shown  me  great  kindness.  Unfortunately  for  me  the  sun  soon  re- 
appeared, and  his  first  rays  have  carried  off  my  good-hearted  hosts ; 
even  my  helplessness  had  no  power  to  detain  them.  I  therefore  suffer 
all  the  more,  as  I  had  given  them  credit  for  pure  disinterested  charity. 
What  little  they  have  left  in  the  shape  of  food  will  soon  be  exhausted, 
and  I  am  still  too  weak  to  forage  for  myself. 

It  is  at  such  a  time  as  this,  pressed  by  poverty  and  enfeebled  by 
sickness,  that  all  the  true  friendship  I  have  enjoyed  in  life  proves  a 
real  comfort  to  me.  Now  I  feel  the  curse  of  solitude  and  the  need  of 
a  partner's  care  and  affection. 

Although  I  might  have  weighed  before  starting  the  dangers  of  so 
long  a  journey,  and  accordingly  felt  neither  surprise  nor  discouragement 
at  this  first  mishap,  I  am  certain  that  you,  who  dread  everything 
which  menaces  the  uniformity  of  your  life,  would  have  borne  the 
affliction  with  greater  patience  and  fortitude.  You  have  accustomed 
yourself  to  abide  contentedly  in  one  spot,  so  that  this  enforced  repose 
which  galls  me,  had  you  been  the  sufferer,  would  have  in  no  way.  ruffled 
the  calm  of  your  head  and  heart.  We  are  differently  constituted,  so 
differently  that  this  constraint  will  drive  me  mad  if  I  have  to  endure 
it  much  longer. 

Oh  how  it  affects  my  temper,  and  tunes  my  ear  to  a  painful  pitch  of 
perfection  !  There  is  not  a  bird  within  hearing  that  does  not  sing 
false.  My  nearest  neighbour  is  a  Magpie,  the  stepmother  of  two  little 
warblers,  to  whom  she  is  a  perfect  tyrant,  holding  them  in  complete 
slavery,  and  taking  pleasure  in  corrupting  their  natural  tastes  by 
making  them  sing  all  day  long  contralto  airs  unsuited  to  their 
voices. 

This  female  friend  is  a  widow  who  receives  no  one,  and  who  spends 
her  days  in  scolding,  an  occupation  which  she  varies  by  picking  faults 
and  feathers  out  of  her  step-children.  I  flatly  refused  the  proposal  she 
made  through  an  old  Crow,  to  replace  her  when  she  felt  inclined  to 
leave  the  nest  in  search  of  pleasure.  This  occurs  chiefly  in  the  evening. 
I  think  she  is  a  person  of  very  doubtful  morality  indeed.  The  offer 
was  a  tempting  one,  but  I  would  rather  starve  than  aid  the  dark 
schemes  of  this  wicked  female ;  for  dark  they  must  be,  as  she  takes  no 


LETTERS  FROM  A  SWALLOW. 


339 


340  PUBLIC  AND  PRIVATE  LIFE  OF  ANIMALS. 


one  into  her  confidence  save  a  blackguard-looking  Crow  who,  I  am 
certain,  lives  by  plunder. 

So  you  see  I  not  only  have  the  misfortune  to  be,  but  to  have  made, 
a  formidable  enemy  of  this  unscrupulous  dame.  I  think  I  shall  risk 
destroying  my  bad  leg,  and  limp  out  of  the  dilemma  into  pastures  new 
and  an  atmosphere  more  congenial. 

You  whose  goodness  once  drew  me  out  of  a  like  scrape,  will  pity  my 
misfortunes  and  sigh  for  me  more  profoundly  than  I  deserve.  Still 
the  thought  of  your  kind  interest  will  strengthen  me  nearly  as  much 
as  if  you  were  here  to  lend  me  a  helping  wing.  I  seem  to  feel  as  it 
were  your  guardian  spirit  hovering  over  my  head ;  so  real  does  it 
appear  that  I  shall  implicitly  trust  to  its  guidance.  This  you  will  set 
down  as  a  morbid  fad  of  mine,  as  your  spirit  knows  better  than  to 
trust  itself  into  such  latitudes.  Be  that  as  it  may,  your  influence,  if 
not  your  spirit,  is  ever  with  me. 


THE  SWALLOW'S  FIFTH  LETTER. 

It  is  now  a  month  since  I  left  my  last  lonely  retreat.  A  Linnet  who 
was  wandering  about  without  any  fixed  purpose  promised  to  help  me. 
You  may  judge  how  eagerly  I  seized  the  proffered  help,  and  the 
glorious  prospect  of  quitting  my  disagreeable  neighbour,  and  the  still 
more  disagreeable  hole  in  which  I  had  been  cooped  up  so  long.  My  foot 
is  far  from  well,  and,  although  my  friend  tries  to  persuade  me  to  the 
contrary,  I  fear  I  shall  be  lame  to  the  end  of  my  days.  I  ought  here 
to  quote  the  fable  of  the  "Two  Pigeons,"  so  often  brought  under  my 
notice  when  you  lectured  me  on  my  vagabond  life. 

Surrounded  by  strangers,  enfeebled  by  suffering,  my  future  seems  to 
grow  daily  darker  and  more  dim,  while  no  opportunity  offers  for  the 
ventilation  of  my  peculiar  views.  The  males  here,  as  elsewhere,  are 
our  masters — one  must  own  it  if  for  no  higher  reason  than  to  get  one's 
share  of  the  necessaries  of  life.  The  cause  seems  hopeless,  unless  one 
could  hit  upon  some  quinine  or  vaccine  matter  that  would  cure  us  of 
the  weaknesses  and  vanities  of  female  nature.  As  it  is,  the  malady  or 
weakness  is  there,  and  males,  as  of  old,  continue  their  endeavours  to 
beat,  kick,  and  govern  it  out  of  us ;  one  day  they  will  succeed,  when 
one  kick  too  many  will  make  us  their  masters.  As  for  myself,  who 


LETTERS  FRO  AT  A  SWALLOW.  341 

have  not  come  under  this  peculiar  bondage,  I  would  gladly  give  my 
life  for  the  enfranchisement  of  our  sex ;  but  females  will  persist  in 
religiously  following  in  the  beaten  track,  pleasantly  taking  the  alter- 
nate love  and  kicks  as  they  come,  and  retarding  progress.  They  thus 
maintain  a  prodigious  inert  force,  against  which  active  energy  is  broken 
like  the  waves  of  the  sea  against  a  solid  rock. 

I  shudder  at  the  thought  of  our  impotency,  and  know  not  what 
course  to  follow  that  my  name  may  receive  the  blessing  of  gene- 
rations yet  unborn.  I  shall  wait,  like  a  true  philosopher,  for  my 
good  star  to  light  the  path  of  this  noble  ambition  and  lead  me  to 
my  goal ! 

My  Linnet,  who  has  no  ideas,  and  is  not  accustomed  to  reflect,  will, 
I  fear,  soon  grow  weary  of  my  company,  and  of  the  heavy  task  her 
heart  has  imposed  on  her.  I  am  not  a  very  agreeable  companion,  and 
I  do  not  fail  to  notice  that  she  endeavours  to  escape  from  the  tete-d-tete 
of  our  daily  life. 

Although  sincerely  in  the  humour  to  see  the  world,  she  took  me 
yesterday  to  a  meeting  which  at  any  other  time  would  have  filled  me 
with  hope. 

Our  sex  alone  were  admitted,  and  the  end  to  which  all  my  aspira- 
tions tend  was  the  theme  the  young  hearts  were  waiting  to  discuss 
with  noble  impatience.  Several  points  as  to  the  ways  and  means  by 
which  our  rights  were  to  be  secured  and  guarded  were  dwelt  upon  by 
various  speakers,  after  which,  I  am  sorry  to  say,  a  number  of  ill- 
favoured  females  entertained  the  meeting  by  recounting  their  love- 
experiences,  gossip,  and  scandal. 

These  absorbing  topics  found  a  patron  in  the  mistress  of  the  occa- 
sion, an  old  Ringdove,  who  amiably  recalled  the  far-off  love-adven- 
tures of  her  youth. 

Tired  and  dispirited,  I  retired  to  rest,  not  to  sleep,  but  to  brood 
over  the  future,  till  at  last,  weary  of  thinking  of  the  where-to-go  and 
what-to-do  of  to-morrow,  my  eyes  closed  for  the  night. 


342  PUBLIC  AND  PRIVATE  LIFE  OF  ANIMALS, 


THE  SWALLOW'S  SIXTH  LETTER. 

MY  DEAR  FRIEND, — After  so  many  shattered  hopes,  so  many  vain 
endeavours,  I  determined  to  narrow  my  ambition  and  end  my  journey 
with  the  Linnet.  Were  you  not  a  grave  true-hearted  Canary,  you 
would  smile  at  this  consummation.  I  am  completely  at  your  mercy, 
and  you  are  too  good  to  abuse  your  advantage. 

Although  there  is  something  supremely  ridiculous  in  all  the  fuss 
with  which  I  set  out  to  reform  society,  when  one  considers  the  result, 
I  claim  the  privilege  of  pointing  out  that  my  scheme  is  none  the  less 
sound  and  good  because  it  has  failed.  I  am  not  converted.  Society 
is  not  ripe  for  such  a  measure  of  reform.  I  have  pleaded,  solicited, 
preached — to  deaf  ears — and  urged  the  adoption  of  my  views ;  the 
males  listened  and  shrugged  their  shoulders,  the  females  refused  to 
listen  and  shrugged  their  shoulders,  and  in  order  to  continue  the 
struggle  single-handed,  I  should  require  a  stock  of  patience  with  which 
nature  has  not  seen  fit  to  endow  me. 

Above  all,  I  am  lame,  and  to  undertake — no  matter  what  in  this 
world — even  to  promote  a  good  cause,  one  must  begin  with  personal 
attractions  that  will  appeal  to  the  eye.  A  lame  Swallow  has  therefore 
not  much  chance  of  success  in  this  fast  age. 

The  spring  will  again  find  me  in  Paris,  when  I  shall  present  my 
little  companion,  who  I  am  sure  will  please  you,  notwithstanding  her 
gaiety.  She  may  even  seem  to  you  giddy.  All  I  can  say  is,  she  is 
genuine  and  good-hearted.  I  must  tell  you  she  fell  in  love  the  other 
day  with  a  young  fop,  with  whom  she  would  have  decamped  had  I  not 
caught  her  in  time  to  arrest  her  fate.  I  gave  her  a  page  or  two  of  my 
own  early  experience,  which  produced  a  deep  and,  let  us  hope,  lasting 
impression. 

She  wants  looking  after,  guiding,  and  controlling.  Yet  why  should 
I  speak  thus  in  opposition  to  my  doctrine  of  freedom  for  the  female 
sex,  and  lay  my  plans  for  her  guidance  1  Can  it  be  that  my  principles 
are  gradually  changing  ?  It  cannot  be !  Soon  you  will  see  me,  my 
friend,  sad  but  submissive,  having  found  the  world  bad,  and  being 
unwilling  to  force  it  to  become  better.  You  will  find  me,  as  you 
would  say,  disenchanted — as  I  would  say,  reasonable,  although,  to 
tell  the  truth,  the  two  expressions  may  mean  one  and  the  same  thing. 
I  have  travelled  far  in  search  of  that  wisdom  which  I  might  have 


LETTERS  FROM  A  SWALLOW. 


343 


obtained  without  going  out  of  my  way.  In  my  narrow  view  of  life 
I  had  only  been  willing  to  notice  the  shortcomings  of  what  is,  and  the 
advantages  of  what  is  not. 

These  advantages  are  still  manifest,  so  also  is  the  danger  of  any 
change,  even  though  it  might  bring  a  certain  measure  of  amelioration. 
It  seems,  indeed,  better  to  keep  and  improve  a  defective  form  of 
government  than  to  change  it  for  something  new — however  good — and 
untried. 

My  only  ambition  now  is  to  end  my  days  near  you. 


MEDICAL  ANIMAL?. 


A  VENERABLE  Crow  announces  the  ap- 
proaching death  of  one  of  our  colleagues  ; 
he  flatters  himself  on  being  able  to  foretell 
the  event.  His  prognostication  is,  we 
should  say,  certain  to  be  verified,  for  at 
that  moment  the  poor  sufferer  enters;. 
he  was  a  Dog — we  say  was,  for  he  is  now, 
alas  !  nothing  more  than  the  skeleton,  the 
shadow  of  that  long-suffering  animal.  We 
tenderly  inquire  how  he  feels. 

"  Ah,"  he  replies,  "  my  only  feeling  is 
pain ;  they  tried  to  cure  me — that  is,  my 
illness — and  behold  the  result.  Ah,  my 
brothers,  what  have  you  done  1  what  is  the  world  coming  to  ]  You 
have  provoked  the  animals  to  write,  your  counsels  have  been  pushed 
too  far,  many  of  us  poor  brutes  have  been  forced  to  think.  That  is 
not  all,  some  even  dream  of  poetry,  painting,  and  science.  These 
fools  would  have  us  believe  that  such  mad  courses  raise  us  above  our- 
selves and  our  sublime  instincts.  Nightingales  imagine  themselves 
birds  of  prey,  Donkeys  masters  of  song,  while  Cats  conceive  they  dis- 
course the  sublimest,  sweetest  harmony.  Civilisation  does  it  all ;  it  is 
a  muddle,  my  friends,  a  fearful  muddle.  But  the  last  notion  is  by  far 
the  most  dreadful.  Our  brothers,  weary  of  dying  a  natural  death,  have 
resolved  to  found  chairs  of  medicine  and  surgery.  Already  they  have 
begun  their  work ;  behold  me,  the  result  of  their  experiments — skin  and 
bone,  gentlemen  !  skin  and  bone !  I  have  just  been  ordering  myself 
crutches  and  a  coffin.  Dear  me,  how  faint  I  feel !  " 
"  Have  a  drink  1 "  said  the  Fox. 

"  Most  thankfully,"  replied  the  Dog,  who  had  been  a  very  jolly  Dog. 
in  his  day. 


MEDICAL  ANIMALS.  345 

The  Fox,  preparing  pen  and  ink,  requests  him  to  write  down  his 
mischances  for  the  good  of  posterity.  The  Dog  obeys — it  is  his  nature 
to  do  so — only  he  requests  the  Fox  to  write  at  his  dictation. 

"  Being  honest,"  he  commenced,  "  I  have  no  desire  to  conceal  any- 
thing. There  have  been  for  some  time  amongst  men  certain  individuals 
called  Veterinaries — most  damaging  rascals  ;  one  is  no  sooner  in  their 
clutches,  than  they  bleed,  purge,  and  put  one  to  the  direct  straits, 
bestowing  a  diet  not  fit  for  a  Cat.  I  object  to  this  most  strongly,  to 
this  last  phase  of  their  treatment.  They  imagine  that  disease  has  a 
craving  for  food,  and  determine  to  kill  it  by  systematic  starvation ;  the 
result  is  too  often  the  death  of  the  animal,  and  not  the  disease,  which 
lives  and  spreads  to  others.  I  was  one  of  those  who  proposed  a  com- 
mission to  inquire  into  and  state  facts.  You  would  hardly  conceive, 
gentlemen,  on  what  fools — pardon — I  mean  on  what  creatures  the  choice 
fell ;  on  Linnets  and  Moles — the  one  for  clear  sight,  the  other  for  seeing  in 
the  dark.  The  commission  set  to  work,  taking  it  for  granted  that  the  poor 
never  complain  without  cause,  and  examined  everybody  as  they  would 
convicted  felons.  I  do  not  know  what  happened,  but  soon  a  majority 
of  the  enlightened  commissioners,  who  had  discovered  nothing,  decided 
that  the  affair  was  understood.  A  compiler  produced  a  work  for  which, 
in  common  with  all  the  other  members  of  the  commission,  he  was  hand- 
somely rewarded,  and  that  was  all.  As  for  me,  I  barked,  howled,  and 
manifested  my  disapproval ;  many  of  my  friends  thinking  they  ought  to 
do  the  same,  the  agitation  became  general." 

"  Let  that  pass,  my  friend,  let  that  pass,"  said  the  Fox ;  "  everything 
has  an  cud.  Prudence  and  generosity  forbid  our  dwelling  on  this 
subject." 

"  In  short,"  replied  Medor,  somewhat  crest-fallen  (Me"dor  was  our 
hero's  name),  "we  agreed  to  form  schools  of  secret  medicine,  and  faculties 
of  clandestine  surgery,  under  the  presidency  of  the  Cock  of  ^Esculapius 
and  the  Serpent  of  Hippocrates. 

"  Every  animal,  part  of  whose  flesh  or  intestines  had  been  used  as  a 
medicine,  laid  claim  to  the  invention  of  the  science,  and  all  of  them, 
from  the  least  to  the  greatest,  held  that  they  each  had  been  used  by 
man-doctors  as  universal  panaceas.  Would  you  believe  it,  these  biped 
physicians  dared  to  prescribe  Tortoise  broth  for  languor,  and  jelly  of 
Viper  for  impurity  of  the  blood  !  " 

"  Medor,  you  are  wise,  and  if  ever  we  add  an  Academy  of  Sciences  to 
our  journal,  you  shall  belong  to  it." 


346  PUBLIC  AND  PRIVATE  LIFE  OF  ANIMALS. 


"  To  the  Academy,  Prince  1 " 

"  No,  to  our  journal ;  who  do  you  take  yourself  for  ?     Continue." 

"You  have  not  forgotten,  gentlemen,  that  your  humble  servant 
objected  chiefly  to  the  diet,  not  to  the  science  " 

"  Is  it  much  longer  ?  "  inquired  the  Fox. 

"  I  must  finish  my  narrative,  sir ;  that  is  all  I  can  conscientiously  say." 

"You  are  honest,  but  that  is  an  useless  quality  nowadays." 

"  My  brothers,"  continued  Medor,  "  if  we  confine  our  attention  to  the 
remedies  prescribed  by  men,  we  shall  only  foster  sickness  and  hasten 
death.  I  once  heard  the  remark  made  by  a  man,  that  the  sublimest 
philosophy  was  that  which  stood  the  test  of  common  sense.  I  am 
inclined  to  think  that  the  sublime  in  the  art  of  healing  would  be  to 
return  to  and  trust  to  instinct.  These  words  are  simple,  but 
profound;  think  over  them,  although  they  will  meet  only  with  the 
world's  scorn." 

"  Decidedly,"  said  the  Fox.  "  It  is  most  unreasonable,  when  one 
wants  to  found  a  science,  to  begin  with  common  sense  ;  that  is  a  vulgar 
natural  gift  which  can  only  stand  in  the  way  of  science." 

"  That  is  quite  evident,"  murmured  a  Bear,  who  had  come  forward 
with  a  subscription. 

Medor  scratched  his  ear  and  proceeded  in  a  lower  tone.  "My 
opinions  were  blamed,  I  was  cursed,  beaten,  and  treated  as  an 
incendiary.  When  I  wished  to  raise  my  paws  to  heaven  to  protect  my 
innocence,  one  of  them  was  broken,  and  my  colleagues  ironically 
inquired  what  remedy  instinct  and  common  sense  suggested  to  me  under 
the  circumstances,  and  if  any  to  apply  it.  But  as  they  had  taken  care 
to  knock  me  on  the  head  before  asking  the  question,  I  was  unable  to 
reply,  and  so  stood  convicted  of  insanity." 

"  Herein  is  logic  ! "  said  the  Fox. 

"  I  was  put  to  bed — on  straw — and  the  chamber  was  soon  filled  by  a 
Leech,  a  Crane,  a  heteroclitic  animal,  a  Spanish  Fly,  and  a  dignified 
idler,  who  seated  himself  as  soon  as  he  arrived.  The  heteroclitic 
creature,  a  dry,  cold,  carefully-dressed  personage,  declared  the  seance 
open,  the  object  of  which  was  to  effect  my  cure  by  purely  scientific 
means.  I  thought  I  was  dead,  but  a  Sow  who  acted  as  my  nurse 
reassured  me  by  saying — 

" '  Do  not  be  afraid ;  the  good  die,  the  bad  remain/ 

"  '  Old  mother/  I  replied,  '  you  were  not  placed  here  to  poison  my 
ear,  on  the  contrary ' and  I  turned  on  my  miserable  couch. 


MEDICAL  ANIMALS. 


347 


"  The  Leech  then  pronounced  me  delirious,  and  intimated  his  inten- 
tion of  sucking  out  the  malady  through  a  blood-vessel  in  my  throat- 


Happily  the  Spanish  Fly  noticed  that  my  tongue  protruded  in  token  of 
exhaustion,  and  proposed  to  apply  what  he  termed  a  counter-irritant 


348  PUBLIC  AND  PRIVATE  LIFE  OF  ANIMALS. 


—that  is,  to  set  up  a  most  painful  competition  between  disease  and 
remedy. 

"  'My  dear  sir/  said  the  Crane  to  the  Fly,  'neither  your  treatment 
nor  your  opinion  can  have  the  least  weight ;  it  is  a  well-known  fact 
that  six  thousand  four  hundred  of  you  weigh  only  a  miserable  half- 
pound.  Half  a  pound  weight,  think  of  that.' 

"  'What  is  your  opinion,  Mr.  Idler1?'  inquired  the  Heteroclite. 

'"I  practise  the  leisurely  science  of  meditating  on  the  mysteries  of 
life  and  death.  We  must  consult  together,  and  weigh  the  situation 
before  we  can  hope  to  arrive  at  a  just  diagnosis  of  this  important  case. 
As  a  consulting  physician,  I ' 

" '  My  opinion  is,'  gravely  continued  the  first  speaker,  '  that  the 
abnormal  humidity  of  the  feet,  head,  chest,  and  all  the  members,  is 
one  of  the  gravest  symptoms  of  this  case.' 

"  The  Seal  shrugged  his  shoulders. 

" '  Humidity  I  hold  to  be  most  dangerous,  whether  in  the  shape  of 
rain,  dew,  or  the  saturation  of  a  heated  atmosphere.  An  umbrella  or 
waterproof  may  ward  off  its  influence,  our  patient  is  beyond  that  stage 
and  requires  more  subtle  remedies.  As  for  myself,  I  am  obliged  to  ob- 
serve the  greatest  caution.  I  never  travel  without  my  carriage,  and  to 
walk  over  a  cold  flagstone  without  a  carpet  would  be  to  court  death.  I 
have  done  :  that  being  so,  I  make  it  a  rule  to  inquire  who  is  to  pay  me  ? 

"  '  And  us,'  cried  a  voice  outside. 

"'Who  are  you?' 

" '  We  are  the  animal  surgeons  who  alone  can  effect  a  cure ;  open,  or 
we  will  cut  our  way  through  the  door,  just  as  we  would  to  the  heart  of 
a  disease.' 

"The  door  was  opened,  and  the  Saw-fish  entered,  followed  by  its 
attendants.  The  operator  showed  his  teeth,  felt  my  pulse,  and  soon  a 
circle  formed  round  the  couch.  Under  the  circumstances  it  was  natural 
to  faint,  and  I  did  my  best  to  do  so ;  but  as  extremes  sometimes  meet, 
and  there  is  but  a  step  from  fainting  to  delirium,  I  became  mad. 
Dark  scenes  of  dissecting-room  practice  passed  before  me.  My  name 
had  changed  from  Me" dor  to  No.  33,  just  as  if  I  had  become  a  cab  on 
a  stand  or  a  watchman.  I  was  no  longer  a  solitary  invalid,  but  one 
of  many  stretched  on  beds  in  a  long  ward.  My  neighbour  No.  32 
had  passed  away,  or  rather  his  remains  had  been  conveyed  to  a  sort 
of  dining-room  at  the  end  of  the  ward.  The  sole  ornaments  of  this 
chamber  were  skeletons  and  bones.  What  had  become  of  the  flesh?" 


MEDICAL  ANIMALS. 


349 


" '  My  friend,  these  bones  were  doubtless  fossils.     You  are  slandering 
your  fellow-citizens.     But  you  are  free,  continue.' 


"I  wished  to  raise  my  voice  against  this  profanation,  this  brutality, 
this  sacrilege,  but  the  Shark,  biting  my  ear  till  it  bled,  advised  me  to 
be  calm,  resolute,  and  happy. 

" '  You  must  not  puzzle  your  brain  about  the  mysteries  of  clinical 
surgery,'  said  he. 


350  PUBLIC  AND  PRIVATE  LIFE  OF  ANIMALS. 

"  '  I  have  already  done  that/  I  replied. 

"  '  Hush  !  I  am  about  to  describe  your  case  to  these  gentlemen,  who 
are  only  too  anxious  to  see  you  on  your  legs  again.  It  is  necessary 
they  should  be  made  acquainted  with  the  prognostics,  diagnostics,  the 
symptomatology,  the  dietetic  and,  shall  we  say,  numismatic  details, 
not  one  of  which  shall  be  overlooked.  If  you  are  not  instantly  cured, 
we  will  not  waste  precious  time  by  following  in  the  footsteps  of 
physicians  from  whom  we  are  separated  by  the  strictum 'and  the  laxum, 
humours,  mucous  membranes,  pores,  not  to  name  the  66,666  sorts  of 
fever  which  specially  attack  the  animal  organisation.  We  will  not 
occupy  ourselves  with  Aristotle,  Pliny,  Ambrose  Pare",  a  miserable 
idealist,  who  has  said,  "I  dressed  your  wounds,  but  God  healed  them." 
No,  that  is  not  our  business.  Our  patron,  our  hero,  is  Alexander ;  our 
practice,  to  tighten  or  relax  the  tissues — oh  no  !  Alexander  knew 
better  than  that,  he  cut  them.' 

"  'Long  live  Alexander ! '  said  the  Vultures,  Rats,  and  Crows  of  the 
audience. 

*"  You  have  understood  me  clearly,'  said  the  speaker.  'I  have  now 
the  honour  to  ask  the  opinion  of  the  Saw-fish,  my  colleague,  whose 
doctrines  I  hold  in  the  highest  esteem,  although  I  have  my  own  way 
of  applying  them ;  and  now,  gentlemen,  we  will  proceed  to  incise  the 
muscles,  saw  the  bones,  and  in  fact  cure  our  patient.7 

"  They  are  bound  to  kill  me,  I  thought ;  a  thousand  times  death 
rather  than  vivisection." 

"  And  you  played  the  dead  Dog  1 "  said  the  Fox. 

"  Just  so,  and  some  good  little  fellow  said  that  it  would  be  unwise  to 
operate  owing  to  my  weakness  :  it  often  happens  that  the  most  trifling 
incidents  delay  the  greatest  events." 

"  Say  that  again,"  said  the  Fox  with  a  tinge  of  irony,  "  it  seems 
good." 

"  Sometimes,  sir,  the  smallest  incidents  delay  the  greatest  events.  It 
so  happened  that  the  orator  fell  not  on  the  one  who  had  interrupted 
him,  but  on  his  neighbour,  whom  he  accused  of  lifting  the  hospitaljint 
and  bearing  it  off  to  line  his  nest. 

"  A  large  Vulture,  a  provincial  student,  as  might  easily  be  seen  from 
his  huge  cloak  and  cap  stuck  on  the  back  of  his  head,  dared  to  remark 
that  the  profession  of  surgery  was  one  of  liberty,  and  that  professors 
had  no  right  to  interfere  in  the  private  affairs  of  their  pupils.  In  this 
way  the  question  of  the  missing  lint  was  satisfactorily  disposed  of,  and 
the  lecturer  proceeded. 


MEDICAL  ANIMALS.  351 

"  '  Gentlemen,  as  the  operation  must  be  postponed  for  to-day,  permit 
me,  in  the  interests  of  science,  to  make  a  few  remarks  on  the  subject 
of  morals.' 

"  That  was  flattering  you,"  remarked  the  Fox. 

"  Perhaps  it  was,  at  any  rate,  the  little  sermon  which  I  here  abridge 
was  lost  on  me. 

"  'Dear  pupils,  the  true  student  of  science  is  to  a  certain  extent  invested 
with  a  God-like  nature ;  our  profession  is  a  priesthood,  for  you  know 
the  healing  art  in  ancient  times  was  only  exercised  by  the  priests : 
it  requires  therefore  more  than  talent,  it  demands  virtue.' 

" '  Oh !  oh !  ! '  exclaimed  several  students  of  the  same  year. 

" '  Medicine  will  again  become  a  priesthood,  or,  if  you  prefer  it,  a 
social  function ;  doctors  will  preside  over  the  public  hygiene.  The  fewer 
maladies  there  are,  the  more  will  medicine  be  honoured  and  recom- 
pensed. But  in  order  to  arrive  at  this  desirable  end  it  is  necessary 
to  raise  the  qualifications  of  the  profession,  and  to  exclude  many 
aspirants,  otherwise  each  family  will  have  its  physician.  What,  then, 
would  become  of  us  when  there  is  a  doctor  to  each  floor  and  another 
to  each  attic  ?  The  study  of  our  science  is  painful  and  costly.  It 
must  be  rendered  doubly  so  to  check  the  influx  of  those  who  either  by 
talent  or  morality  are  unfitted  to  enter  our  ranks.' 

"  '  But,  my  master,'  said  the  Vulture,  *  you  are  not  reasonable  ;  what 
you  dread  is  the  ability  of  the  young  generation  which  threatens  to 
eat  up  your  sinecures.  Your  paternal  solicitude  is  misplaced ! ' 

"  Another  student  objected  to  slandering  misery  and  privation,  the 
true  attributes  that  alone  by  strengthening  and  purifying  genius  render 
it  serviceable  to  the  world. 

"  *  Yes/  he  continued,  '  I  myself  have  known  that  life  is  a  hard,  bitter 
struggle,  but  God  is  still  all-powerful.  The  snow  that  covers  every  blade 
of  grass  and  every  seedling  beneath  its  chill  mantle,  never  caused  me 
to  doubt,  even  for  an  instant,  that  spring  would  come  arrayed  in  its 
blossoms,  or  that  autumn  would  again  fill  the  storehouse  with  fruit  and 
grain.  I  have  known  hunger,  but  never  despair.  What  matters  the 
numbers  pressing  forward  to  compete  with  us  in  allaying  pain  ?  There 
is  room  for  all  who  honestly  strive  to  make  the  world  more  joyous  ! ' 

"'Long  live  joy! 'cried  the  Crow.  'Misery  is  the  poetry  of  the 
cottage,  just  as  the  garret  is  the  palace  of  students.  If  life  becomes 
still  harder,  why,  to-morrow  we  will  move  up  a  story  higher  nearer 
heaven — go  to  the  roofs.  Now,  my  friends,  here  is  the  whole  truth  in 


352  PUBLIC  AND  PRIVATE  LIFE  OF  ANIMALS. 

a  nutshell,  the  houses  of  Paris  must  be  viewed  thus  :  our  lofty  attics 
contain  the  head,  and  therefore  the  brain,  of  this  large  city,  something 
too  of  the  heart.  It  is  there  one  thinks,  it  is  there  one  dreams,  it  is 
there  one  loves,  while  waiting  to  descend  to  the  first  floor,  to  meditate 
on  ambition  and  riches.  Our  master  may  talk  ;  for  all  that,  he  himself 
is  a  living  proof  of  success — of  the  fact  that  very  little  merit  indeed 
is  frequently  rewarded  by  much  wealth  and  fame.' 

"  '  Ah  ! '  replied  the  Shark,  '  you  forget  that  one  successful  career  is 
the  product  of  a  thousand  failures.  Only  lofty  qualities  can  bring 
the  successful  to  the  surface,  while  thousands  sink  into  misery  and 
obscurity.  Some  one  said  that  the  sun  smiles  on  our  successes,  and 
the  kindly  earth  throws  her  mantle  over  our  failures.  The  truth  is, 
the  sun  shines  on  a  host  of  ungrateful  convalescents,  and  the  earth 
too  soon  receives  our  most  astounding  surgical  cures  ! ' 

"The  discussion  was  becoming  too  learned,  I  therefore  slipped  out  by 
the  foot  of  the  bed — but  not  before  they  had  resumed  the  discussion 
of  my  case — and  left  them  in  the  thick  of  it  to  come  here." 

Saying  this,  the  poor  cripple  made  his  bow  and  disappeared,  totally 
regardless  of  the  future  of  his  important  revelations. 

We  beg  any  one  who  may  know  the  whereabouts  of  Medor  to  keep 
the  secret  to  himself;  being  unable  to  help  our  fellow-creatures  in 
distress,  we  wish  them  kept  out  of  our  way,  or  taken  to  our  next-door 
neighbour,  who  has  probably  more  time  and  money  at  his  disposal. 


THE     QlRAFFE'g    TABLET3- 
JARDIN  DES  PLANTES. 


LETTER  TO  HER  LOVER  IN  THE  DESERT. 


PRAISED  be  the 
good  spirits  that 
protect  Ants,  Gir- 
affes, and  prob- 
ably men!  Before 
many  days  we 
shall  meet,  never 
to  part. 

The  learned 
men  of  whom  I 
shall  presently 
speak,  who  in  this 
land  make  the 
weather  —  bad 
weather,  as  a  rule 
— have  decreed  in 
their  wisdom  that 
it  is  not  good  for 
Giraffes  to  be 

alone,  as  the  social  habits  of  our  race  can  never  be  truly  ascertained  from 
the  study  of  a  single  individual.  How  this  happens  I  cannot  explain. 
I  have,  however,  put  you  in  possession  of  the  fact  that  you  may  know- 
as  much  as  I  do  myself. 

Here  I  am  transported  to  a  land  one  finds  it  hard  to  get  used  to, 

z 


354  PUBLIC  AND  PRIVATE  LIFE  OF  ANIMALS. 

a  land  where  the  sun  is  pale,  the  moon  dim,  the  wind  damp,  the  dust 
dry  and  dirty,  and  the  air  icy  cold.  Of  the  three  hundred  and  sixty 
odd  days  which  make  up  the  year,  it  rains  during  three  hundred  and 
forty,  when  the  roads  become  rivers  unfit  for  the  dainty  foot  of  Giraffes. 
During  winter  the  rain  becomes  white,  and  covers  all  things  with  one 
uniform  dazzling  carpet,  which  wounds  the  eye  and  saddens  the  heart. 
The  water  becomes  solid,  and  misery  waits  upon  birds  and  beasts,  who 
perish  on  the  banks  of  the  streams  without  being  able  to  quench  their 
thirst. 

The  species  of  animal  that  rules  in  this  region  is  the  most  ill-favoured 
of  all  God's  creatures.  His  head,  instead  of  conforming  to  our  graceful 
model,  is  nearly  round  like  a  melon,  and  partly  covered  with  short  hair 
like  hogs'  bristles,  only  thicker,  darker,  and  not  so  clean  looking ;  his 
neck  is  almost  hidden  between  his  shoulders,  and  only  develops  by 
becoming  thicker  and  shorter ;  his  skin  is  of  an  earthy  colour ;  and  to 
complete  this  ridiculous  picture,  he  has  got  into  the  stupid  way  of 
walking  on  his  hind-legs,  and  swinging  those  in  front  to  maintain 
his  equilibrium.  It  is  difficult  to  imagine  any  figure  more  vulgar  or 
absurd.  I  am  inclined  to  think  that  this  poor  animal  is  afflicted  with 
a  painful  sense  of  his  deformity,  for  he  hides  as  much  of  his  figure  as 
possible.  He  uses  for  this  purpose  an  artificial  covering  fabricated  out 
of  the  bark  of  plants  and  skins  of  animals.  This  device  does  not  mend 
matters,  as  it  renders  him  an  ugly  piece  of  patchwork.  The  first  sight 
of  a  man — that  is  the  name  by  which  this  hideous  animal  is  known 
— will  cause  you  to  be  thankful  you  were  born  clothed  by  the  Creator 
in  matchless  attire,  and  that  you  have  never  fallen  into  the  hands  of 
a  Parisian  tailor. 

We  express  our  sentiments  and  needs  in  simple  sounds  and  looks ; 
they,  on  the  other  hand — who  appear  formerly  to  have  enjoyed  the 
same  privilege — carried  away  by  a  fatal  instinct,  or,  if  one  must  believe 
the  wisest  of  them,  subject  to  a  destiny  of  incomparable  punishment,  sup- 
planted nature's  simple  language  by  an  almost  continuous  grumbling. 
They  have  invented  sounds  in  abundance  to  signify  what  they  don't 
want  and  can't  get,  and  spend  half  their  days  in  gabbling  over  the 
limited  nature  of  their  moral  and  physical  appetites.  These  sounds 
sometimes  express  wishes,  but  more  frequently  what  is  called  ideas. 
Ideas  are  in  themselves  nothing,  although  they  are  the  key  to  all  that 
is  deficient,  cross,  and  hostile  in  what  these  creatures  call  conversation. 
When  two  Men  separate  after  conversing  for  hours,  we  may  rest  assured 


THE  GIRAFFE'S  TABLETS.  355 

that  the  one  ignores  all  that  has  been  said  by  the  other,  and  hates  him 
more  thoroughly  than  before. 

It  is  also  necessary  for  me  to  tell  you  that  this  animal  is  essen- 
tially ferocious,  and  feeds  upon  flesh  and  blood.  This  need  not 
frighten  you;  either  from  his  natural  cowardice,  or  from  a  horrible 
refinement  of  ingratitude  and  cruelty,  he  only  devours  poor  defenceless 
timid  beasts,  easy  to  surprise  and  kill,  and  who  have  often  clothed  him 
with  their  wool  or  enriched  him  with  their  service.  Again,  it  is  his 
custom  to  rear  these  victims  in  his  own  country.  An  animal  from  a 
strange  land  inspires  a  sort  of  religious  respect,  which  is  shown  in  the 
utmost  care  and  homage.  He  lays  out  parks  for  the  Gazelle,  embellishes 
the  Lion's  den,  and  digs  a  pond  for  the  Hippopotamus.  As  for  myself, 
he  had  planted  rows  of  trees  with  nourishing  leaves ;  beneath  my  feet 
is  a  mossy  sward  and  belt  of  fine  sand,  a  miniature  desert,  while  my 
dwelling  is  kept  at  a  uniform  temperature.  His  poor  fellow-creatures 
would  only  be  too  delighted  if  he  took  the  same  care  of  them.  He 
cares  for  them  at  a  distance,  and  at  times,  without  warning,  breaks 
out  into  a  frenzy  and  slaughters  them  right  and  left. 

These  massacres  are  said  to  be,  caused  by  some  high-sounding  nothing 
called  a  word  or  an  idea.  Men — being  by  nature  harmless  or  unarmed 
— have  invented  destructive  weapons  of  the  most  formidable  kind. 
When  they  cannot  agree  about  any  given  idea  they  bring  out  their 
weapons,  and  the  side  which  works  the  greatest  destruction  of  life  and 
property  is  always  right.  Right  is  built  upon  the  wreck  of  empires, 
so  Men  say,  until  some  giant  power  proves  right  to  be  wrong  and 
dethrones  it,  showing  that  right  is  a  sort  of  weathercock  that  changes 
with  every  wind  of  government. 

There  are  Men,  and  there  are  also  extraordinary  Men— that  is,  a 
class  called  Scholars.  The  grubs  of  these  creatures  are  bred  in  books. 
Many  of  them  die  while  yet  buried  in  printed  leaves,  in  the  chrysalis 
state,  from  which  they  never  emerge  ;  but  the  Book-worm,  after  many 
•  lays,  ought,  full  fledged,  to  soar  away  into  the  light  of  science. 

It  is  the  duty  of  Scholars  to  pay  more  attention  to  the  words  in 
which  ideas  are  expressed  than  to  the  ideas  themselves,  as  well  as  to 
invent  words,  which  few  will  understand,  to  denote  the  commonest 
things.  When  speaking,  the  Scholar  is  careful  to  use  words  so  seldom 
pronounced,  that  it  would  be  better  if  they  were  not  pronounced  at 
all. 

Above  all,  the  most  interesting  human  type  is  Woman,  a  poor,  soft, 


356  PUBLIC  AND  PRIVATE  LIFE  OF  ANIMALS. 


ALL    THE    MEETINGS 


THE  GIRAFFE'S  TABLETS.  357 

elegant,  timid,  delicate  creature,  who  became  the  slave  of  Man.  I  do 
not  know  where  or  when,  but  he  has  trained  her  to  submit  to  him  like 
the  Horse,  either  by  force  or  cunning.  I  tell  you  she  is  by  far  the 
most  graceful  form  in  nature,  yet  Man  spoils  her  appearance ;  she  is 
seen  to  greater  perfection  without  him.  She  has  few  sentiments  save 
love ;  the  need  of  loving  some  one  or  something  shows  itself  early,  and 
never  leaves  her.  During  her  youth  the  hours  are  spent  in  conjuring 
up  in  her  mind  some  ideal  Man  with  whom  she  is  to  live  a  blissful 
life.  She  after  a  time  becomes  the  wife  of  some  one  in  whom  she 
thinks  she  has  found  the  lover  of  her  dreams.  Alas  !  too  .often  the  illu- 
sion soon  passes  away,  and  she  learns  that  the  fond  image  of  her  youth 
was  a  being  of  a  higher  sphere. 

You  will  be  surprised  at  my  giving  you  so  many  details  regarding 
this  country  and  its  animals,  but  as  yet  I  have  told  you  nothing  about 
the  way  they  govern  themselves.  Politics  pure  and  simple  is  the 
science  most  talked  about  and  least  understood  in  France.  If  you 
listen  to  one  person  on  the  subject  of  politics,  his  ideas  seem  obscure ; 
if  to  two,  they  are  confused ;  if  to  three,  they  are  chaotic.  When  the 
number  of  speakers  increase  to  four  or  five,  they  are  prepared  to 
strangle  each  other.  Judging  from  the  universal  favour  in  which  I  am 
held  by  all  classes,  it  has  once  or  twice  crossed  my  mind  that  all  their 
political  sentiments  had  found  a  calm  centre  in  myself,  and  that  they 
would  at  last  elect  me  their  king.  This  seems  all  the  more  likely 
since  Frenchmen  are  utterly  unable  to  agree  as  to  the  exact  moral  and 
intellectual  qualities  which  should  adorn  a  prince,  and  it  may  be  they 
have  in  a  friendly  way  resolved  to  choose  their  masters  according  to 
height.  By  adopting  this  plan,  party  spirit  would  be  demolished,  and 
all  questions  settled  by  measurement. 

Last  week  I  resolved  to  be  present  at  a  meeting  of  deputies  to  be 
held  nearer  to  the  river  than  my  abode.  I  accordingly  bent  my  steps 
that  way,  and  soon  arrived  at  a  sort  of  palace  filled  with  a  tumultuous 
throng. 

The  members  of  the  Cabinet  only  differed  from  other  men  in 
characteristic  ugliness,  the  result,  it  is  said,  of  grave  habits  of  thought, 
and  of  the  manner  in  which  they  snatch  their  pleasures  from  the  cares 
of  office.  What  surprised  me  most  was  their  activity,  which  never 
permitted  them  to  rest  for  an  instant  in  the  same  spot,  for  I  was 
witnessing  by  chance  one  of  the  stormy  meetings  of  the  session.  They 
tossed  themselves  about,  jumped  and  mixed  into  a  hundred  confused 


358  PUBLIC  AND  PRIVATE  LIFE  OF  ANIMALS. 


THE  GIRAFFE'S  TABLETS.  359 

groups,  apostrophising  their  adversaries  with  cries  and  menacing 
gestures,  and  showing  their  teeth  with  the  most  hideous  grimaces.  The 
object  of  most  of  them  seemed  to  be  to  raise  themselves  above  their 
fellows,  and  there  were  those  who  compassed  this  end  by  mounting  on 
the  heads  and  shoulders  of  their  neighbours.  « 

Unfortunately,  though  well  pleased  to  witness  the  gambols  of  the 
assembly,  owing  to  my  superior  stature  I  failed  to  catch  a  single  word 
in  the  confusion  of  voices,  and  I  retired  sickened  and  deafened  by  the 
vociferation,  grinding  of  teeth,  whisking  of  tails,  whistling  and 
howling,  without  being  able  to  form  a  conjecture  as  to  the  subject 
under  discussion. 

For  all  that,  something  was  carried,  and  the  speeches,  it  is  said, 
appeared  in  the  official  organ  next  day  in  most  harmonious  prose. 
There  are  those  who  say  that  all  the  seances  resemble  this  one  in  a 
greater  or  less  degree,  so  I  shall  dispense  with  witnessing  another.* 

I  had  proposed  to  give  you,  before  closing  my  letter,  some  specimens 
of  the  language  now  used  in  Paris.  You  will  be  able  to  form  your 
own  notions  of  it  from  the  following  sentences,  which  have  just  been 
exchanged  between  a  young  man  with  a  Bison's  beard,  and  a  young 
woman  with  the  eyes  of  a  Gazelle,  to  whom  he  was  trying  to  justify 
his  long  absence  : — 

"  I  was  preoccupied,  beautiful  Isoline,  with  sublime  ideas,  of  which 
your  woman's  heart  has  the  noble  intuition.  Placed  by  the  capacities 
which  they  have  been  willing  to  accord  to  me  at  the  zenith  of  the 
adepts  of  perfectionabilisation,  and  long  absorbed  in  philosophic, 
philanthropic,  and  humanitarian  speculations,  I  was  tracing  the  plan 
of  a  political  encyclism  which  would  moralise  all  peoples,  harmonise 
all  institutions,  utilise  all  the  faculties,  and  develop  all  the  sciences ; 
but  I  was  not  the  less  drawn  towards  you  by  the  most  passionate 
attraction,  and  I  " 

"  Say  no  more,"  solemnly  interrupted  Isoline;  "do  not  think  me  a 
stranger  to  those  lofty  aspirations,  and  pray  do  not  suspect  my  spirit 
< -a]  table  of  being  charmed  by  the  baits  of  a  coarse  nature.  Proud  of 
your  destiny,  dear  Adhimar,  in  the  sentiment  which  unites  us  I  only 
see  an  elective  affinity  which  the  instinct  of  cohesion  has  confounded 

*  It  is  evident  that  the  Giraffe  falls  into  a  mistake,  which  is  scarcely  an  excusable 
one  were  she  not  quite  innocent.  Confined  in  the  Jardin  des  Plantes,  she  could  not 
visit  the  Chamber  of  Deputies,  which  she  imagines  she  is  describing.  What  she  did 
see  was  the  Monkeys'  palace. — ED. 


360  PUBLIC  AND  PRIVATE  LIFE  OF  ANIMALS. 

with  a  sympathetic  individuality,  or,  to  express  myself  more  clearly, 
the  fusion  of  these  isolated  idiosyncrasies  which  feel  the  need  of  becom- 
ing simultaneous." 

Here  the  conversation  was  continued  in  a  low  voice,  and  I  think  I 
may  suppose  that  it  became  more  intelligible,  for  the  young  philosopher 
was  beaming  with  pleasure  when  he  left  Isoline. 

THE  GIRAFFE. 


THE  CaoAKiNqg  OF  A  CROW. 

THE  inferiority  of  man  to  the  lower  animals  of  the  world  does  not 
admit  of  the  faintest  shadow  of  doubt,  at  least  that  is  my  belief,  and 
in  making  it  known,  it  must  be  understood  that  it  is  done  honestly 
and  without  malice.  I  am  one  of  the  few  creatures  against  whom  man 
is  powerless  to  do  harnn,  happily  considering  me  beneath  his  notice,  as 
my  flesh  is  too  tough  even  to  make  soup  for  paupers.  I  am,  in  fact,  a 
Crow,  and  consequently  view  the  world  and  its  inhabitants  from  a  noble 
elevation. 

Men  themselves  are  conscious-  of  their  deplorable  condition,  and  fully 
aware  that  their  complex  bodiea  are  frequently  impotent  to  respond  to 
the  wishes  of  their  active  brains.  Poor  architects  are  they  who  design 
impossible  structures  which  no  hands  can  build.  Pitiable !  pitiable  !  ! 
Does  any  one  believe  that  they  are  unconscious  of  their  inferiority  ? 
If  so,  what  can  account  for  their  eternal  complaints,  their  incessant 
misunderstandings  and  litigations? 

Mock,  write,  invent  fables  of  moustached  men.  You  shall  never  be 
able  to  render  us  animals  ridiculous  unless  you  first  endow  us  with 
human  vices,  passions,  and  aspirations.  You  compel  my  pity,  poor 
pariahs  of  the  world  ;.  you  who  could  not  live  for  a  day  without  us 
—without  the  wool  of  our  friend  the  Sheep  to  make  your  attire,  the 
silk  of  the  Worm  to  line  your  coats  or  cover  your  umbrellas,  for  rain 
is  often  fatal  to  you,  while  the  refreshing  wind  penetrates  your  thin 
pink  skin  and  chills  you  to  the  heart.  You  doubtless  wish  you  were 
a  Crow  like  myself,  to  fly  through  the  air  in  place  of  crawling  along  with 
your  too  solid  bodies  through  slimy  city  streets.  I  dislike  you  least 
on  horseback,  and  you  yourselves  are  proud  of  borrowing  a  certain 
dignity  from  a  brute ;  but  the  dignity  belongs  to  the  Horse,  not  to  the 
rider,  although  the  latter  accounts  it  all  his  own,  and,  strange  to  say, 
thinks  himself  superior  to  the  animal  that  carries  him.  Are  you  not 
weaker  than  the  Ox  or  the  Elephant  ?  Does  not  the  smallest  insect 
become  a  burden  to  you  ?  A  Fly  tickling  your  nose  drives  you  mad, 


362  PUBLIC  AND  PRIVATE  LIFE  OF  ANIMALS. 


and  in  place  of  setting  the  misguided  insect  free,  you  take  its  life. 


The  sting  of  a  Gnat  swells  and  deforms   your  face,  and  spoils  the 
image  of  the  God  that  made  you  ;  while  the  bite  of  a  reptile  a  hundred 


THE  CROAK  INGS  OF  A  CROW.  363 

times  smaller  than  yourself  proves  fatal.  Moreover,  you  cannot  deny 
that  you  have  spent  whole  nights  in  a  bloodthirsty  search  for  the  Flea 
that  has  banished  sleep  from  your  pillow,  and  the  little  offender  has 
after  all  evaded  you.  Tell  me  why  do  you  grow  pale  before  a  caged  Lion  ? 
It  is,  alas  !  his  gentlest  caress  would  break  every  bone  in  your  frail  body. 

"Ah,  well !  We  own  our  physical  infirmity  ;  it  is  of  no  consequence, 
as  we  are  princes  by  our  intelligence,  and  on  that  ground  we  defy  you, 
Master  Crow." 

You  flatter  yourselves,  gentlemen.  Do  you  suppose  for  a  moment 
you  have  more  ingenuity,  ability,  and  patience  than  the  Spider,  who 
unaided  produces  the  silken  material  and  weaves  the  most  marvellous 
fabric  in  the  world  1  You  cannot  even  make  lint  compared  to  it, 
although  the  cotton  is  grown  ready  to  your  hand.  Who,  like  the 
Spider,  can  prevail  upon  his  food  to  come  to  his  door,  and  secure  it  so 
cunningly?  and  who  so  deftly  can  escape  danger?  Again,  are  you 
more  crafty  than  the  Fox,  more  subtle  than  the  Serpent  ?  You  boast 
of  your  heart,  and  yet  when  you  want  a  symbol  of  tenderness  or 
devotion  it  is  among  our  ranks  you  look  for  it.  Show  me  the  human 
mother  who,  like  the  Pelican,  would  daily  pierce  her  side,  or,  like  the 
Kangaroo,  bear  the  constant  burden  of  her  little  ones.  Talk  as  you 
like  of  your  paternal  kindness,  and  the  sacrifices  you  make  to  bring  up 
your  children ;  in  short,  you  parade  everything  that  will  in  any  way 
minister  to  your  own  vanity.  You  are  careful  to  publish  your  good 
deeds  with  assumed  humility,  that  the  world  may  trumpet  them 
abroad.  But  for  constancy  and  unobserved  devotedness  to  her  off- 
spring the  meanest  bird  will  put  mankind  to  the  blush.  Show  nir 
the  father  who,  while  attending  to  the  duties  of  his  office,  would 
prepare  his  children's  food  and  rock  them  to  sleep. 

W»«,  the  birds  and  brutes  of  creation,  do  naturally  what  costs  you  an 
almost  superhuman  effort.  We  have  no  need  of  moral  and  religious 
institutions  to  teach  us  how  dutifully  to  fill  our  allotted  spheres. 
Natural  instinct  is  our  teacher,  and  we  obey  its  faintest  whisperings. 
W<-  have  no  schools  of  music,  the  arts,  or  sciences ;  for  all  that,  the 
Nightingale's  notes  are  true  and  harmonious,  and  the  comb  of  the  Bee 
continues  to  be  constructed  with  matchless  beauty  and  precision. 

You  live  in  families,  so  do  we ;  but  supposing  a  human  family  were 
compelled  to  spend  an  entire  winter,  like  the  poor  Marmots,  shut  up 
in  one  dark  chamber,  what  would  be  the  result  ?  I  fear  some  broken 
tempers  and  more  fractured  bones. 


364 


PUBLIC  AND  PRIVATE  LIFE  OF  ANIMALS. 


You  are  proud,  so  is  the  Peacock ;  but  the  latter  lives  on  his  pride, 
while  you  frequently  die  of  it — it  chokes  you. 

What  can  I  say  about  human  courage  ? — simply  nothing.     My  own 


good  nature  prompts  me  here  to  draw  the  veil,  only  adding  a  word  on 
the  subject  of  mendicity. 

In  our  beastly  kingdom  mendicity  is  unknown.     We  would  rather 
starve  than  mimic  all  the  ills  of  life  in  order  to  gain  a  beggarly  living. 


THE  CROAK  INGS  OF  A  CROW. 


365 


366 


PUBLIC  AND  PRIVATE  LIFE  OF  ANIMALS. 


When  we  have  performed  our  allotted  tasks  in  life,  and  are  unable  to 
provide  for  ourselves,  we  die.  Not  so  with  men  ;  they  are  doomed  to 
cling  to  the  last  shreds  of  life  when  all  its  joy  and  lustre  have  gone,  and 


live  on  as  if  overtaken  by  some  fearful  retribution.  But  here  I  touch 
upon  a  large  and  mysterious  question,  and  being  a  modest  Crow,  I  shall 
leave  it,  as  I  fold  my  wings  to  sleep,  for  the  night  is  falling  and  the 
ink  has  dried  on  my  quill.  The  twilight  hour  of  love  is  passing,  and 
the  Nightingale  is  tuning  his  lute. — I  have  the  honour  to  salute  you. 


SOUVENIR?  OF  AN  OLD  T^OOK. 

FRAGMENTS  FROM   AN  ALBUM  OF  TRAVELS. 
"Non  animum  mutant  qui  trans  mare  currunt." — HORACE,  Epistles. 


SUMMARY. 

Why  does  one  travel  1— An  old  castle. — The  Duke  and  Duchess.— The  Terrace.— An 
old  Falcon. — The  hosts  of  the  Terrace. — Make  yourself  a  Grand  Duke. —  A  magic 
Carp. — How  an  Owl  dies  of  love. — How  Madame  Crow  ends  her  story. 


To  begin,  why  does  one 

travel  1  Is  not  repose  the  greatest 
blessing  in  the  world  1  Is  it,  after 
all,  worth  one's  while  going  out  of 
one's  way  to  see  or  to  avoid  any- 
Can  one  honestly  say  that  any  advantage  is  gained  by  travel- 


thing  ? 
ling  1 

Some  pursue  happiness,  and  the  pursuit  invariably  ends  in  the  grave  ; 
nth«-r.s  flee  the  evil  which  no  one  escapes.  The  Swallows  follow  the 
sun  and  flit  with  its  beams,  while  Marmots  close  their  eyes  on  all  his 
wintry  glory  and  court  repose,  having  faith  that  nature  will  again 
awake  at  Phcebus's  bidding.  There  are  many  creatures  who  leave  their 


368  PUBLIC  AND  PRIVATE  LIFE  OF  ANIMALS. 

homes  to  face  unknown  dangers,  but  few  return,  for  space  is  vast,  and 
the  insatiable  ocean  cries  for  ever,  "  Give  !  give  !  "  Many  more  go  to 
sleep  and  few  awake,  for  sleepers  are  near  to  the  death  that  broods 
over  them.  The  Butterfly  travels  because  he  has  wings.  The  Snail, 
rather  than  remain  in  one  place,  shoulders  his  house  and  moves  along ; 
the  unknown  is  so  attractive.  Hunger  wounds  these,  love  woos  those ; 
for  the  former  some  happy  region  teems  with  food,  for  the  latter  with 
sentiment.  Those  alone  who  travel  without  aim  are  burdened  with 
satiety.  As  for  the  Squirrel  who  turns  an  his  cage,  we  may  say, 
"  S'agiter  n'est  pas  avancer,"  *  Unfortunately,  Eke  him,  many  move,  but 
few  make  progress.  Thus  it  is  said  that  the  wise  ones  of  the  world 
prefer  peaceful  misery  to  active  happiness ;  they  are  content  to  live  on 
in  the  spot  where  they  were  born  without  troubling  their  heads  about 
anything  beyond  the  limits  of  their  horizon,  and  they  die,  if  not  happy, 
at  least  tranquil.  But  it  may  be  that  thk  wisdom  comes  from  the 
coldness  of  their  hearts,  and  the  weakness  and  powerlessness  of  their 
wings. 

No  one  has  answered  the  question,  Why  does  one  travel  ?  better 
than  a  great  writer  of  our  sex,  George  Sand,  who  said,  "  One  travels 
because  no  one  is  happy  here  below."  It  must  be  that  motion  is 
everywhere,  nothing  is  perfect,  therefore  there  is  no  repose.  As  for 
me,  I  have  travelled  not  because  I  had  a  liking  for  motion,  for  I  loved 
my  nest  and  the  short  walks  over  the  village  green. 

"  What  is  the  good  of  these  interminable  speculations  and  questions 
at  the  beginning  of  your  tale1?"  said  an  old  friend  and  neighbour, 
whose  advice  I  sometimes  ask,  always  reserving  my  right  to  do  as  I 
please.  "It  is  not  because  you  occupy  yourself  with  philosophy,  &c. 
&c.,  that  you  must  bore  your  readers.  You  will  be  accounted  a  pedant. 
Are  you  going  to  favour  us  with  the  particulars  of  all  you  have  seen 
and  thought  during  the  century  you  have  been  in  the  world  1  Do  you 
intend,  after  the  mistake  of  living  so  long,  to  add  the  folly  of  travel- 
ling interminably  over  paper  ?  Believe  me,  if  you  really  want  to  be 
thought  a  bold  adventurous  spirit,  a  travelling  genius,  write  a  book  of 
travels.  The  century  of  Columbus  has  passed,  one  has  no  need  to 
discover  new  lands,  one  may  now  set  up  as  a  traveller  at  less  cost  and 
no  risk.  Discover,  if  you  will,  the  spot  where  you  were  born,  your 
neighbours  and  your  neighbours'  affairs,  yourself,  or  nothing,  and 
write  about  them.  Relate— what  does  it  matter  how  you  relate,  so  long 
*  S.  La  Valette,  Fables. 


SOUVENIRS  OF  AN  OLD  ROOK.  369 


as  you  do  relate  something  ?  It  is  the  time  for  stories.  Imitate  your 
contemporaries,  those  illustrious  travellers,  who,  in  the  four  corners  of 
the  globe,  bravely  write  down  their  impressions  while  reclining  on  the 
straw  or  down  of  the  paternal  nest.  Follow  their  example,  I  say,  jot 
down  everything  about  yourself,  your  friends,  your  servants ;  the  time 
you  dine,  and  all  about  your  appetite.  Detail  the  dishes  you  have, 
and  those  you  have  not,  institute  a  comparison  between  the  feathers  of 
different  birds,  taking  care  never  to  dip  beneath  the  surface,  confine 
your  descriptions  to  dress  and  manners.  Whenever  you  come  across 
an  old  tale,  colour  it  freely  and  serve  it  up  as  new,  and  I  shall  promise 
you  a  great  success.  You  will  fall  into  many  grave  errors.  What  of 
that  1  they  will  never  be  discovered  till  after  you  are  dead,  when  it 
may  amuse  your  children  to  defend  your  reputation." 

These  reflections  had  a  certain  fascination  for  me,  the  advice  might 
be  good,  or  bad,  it  was  at  any  rate  easy  to  follow.  But  my  conscience 
kept  me  out  of  harm's  way,  and  I  replied — 

"  One  cannot  always  follow  one's  own  inclination,  as  for  me,  I  am 
an  honourable  Rook,  and  will  do  my  best  at  all  times.  If  what  you 
have  just  said  is  intended  for  advice,  it  is  so  precious  you  ought  to 
keep  it  to  yourself." 

"  Be  it  so,"  he  said,  bowing  gravely. 

I  returned  the  salute  and  again  took  up  my  pen.  I  am  undoubtedly 
an  old  Rook.  Old  as  I  am  I  have  no  notion  of  concealing  my  age.  I  was 
once  young,  that  I  can  well  remember,  young  as  the  Starlings  yonder,  and 
less  giddy,  having  a  proper  notion  of  the  respect  due  to  age.  Old  age, 
in  spite  of  all  its  infirmities,  would  meet  with  greater  marks  of  tender- 
ness and  reverence  if  we  tli ought  a  little  more  of  the  silent  grave,  on 
whose  brink  the  feeble  steps  are  tottering. 

As  far  as  I  can  remember  I  was  married  then ;  yes,  when  I  was 
young,  that  is  true,  it  is  some  fifty  years  ago,  and  I  seemed  to  grow  old 
in  a  day  when  I  lost  my  dear  husband.  How  strangely  the  scene  comes 
back  to  my  poor  old  head.  It  was  a  dreadful  day,  the  wind  was 
moaning  dismally  through  the  crevices  of  the  old  tower,  while  the 
thunder,  bursting  in  terrible  peals  from  the  dark  sky,  shook  the  found- 
ations of  the  grim  cathedral,  making  its  grey  stones  tremble  as  if  with 
fear.  Chill  rain  fell  in  torrents,  and  for  the  first  time  menaced  our 
nest,  though  it  was  well  protected  under  one  of  the  doorways  of  the 
Cathedral  of  Strasbourg.  "  I  am  dying  ! "  said  a  feeble,  yet  resolute 
voice.  That  was  my  husband,  poor  dear  ;  he  made  up  his  mind  to  die 

2  A 


370  PUBLIC  AND  PRIVATE  LIFE  OF  ANIMALS. 


and  he  died.     He  was  always  a  very  determined  bird.     "Mind  the 


young  ones,  love  ! "     These  were  his  last  words,  and  I  did  mind  them, 
at  least  I  tried  to,  but  they,  all  of  them,  died  within  a  week. 

Worst  of  all,  I  could  not  die  myself,  and  a  sort  of  consolation  did 


SOUVENIRS  OF  AN  OLD  ROOK.  371 


steal  into  my  widowed  heart,  that  made  me  feel  I  would  not  be  justified 
in  dying. 

"  Travel,"  said  an  old  Stork,  who  had  nursed  my  husband.  "  You 
will  start  inconsolable,  you  will  return  calmed  if  not  consoled.  Many 
griefs  have  been  starved  out  and  left  behind  on  the  king's  highways. 
This  Stork  was  esteemed  as  a  very  sensible  creature,  but  the  world 
had  hardened  her  heart  :  I  would  sooner  kill  my  children  than  stifle 
grief!  My  children,  alas!  where  are  they1?  A  number  of  friendly 
Crows,  our  neighbours,  lent  weight  to  the  Stork's  advice  by  urging  me 
to  leave  the  old  scenes,  and  I  did  leave  the  place,  although  I  almost 
felt  certain  that  my  husband  and  little  ones  would  reappear  some 
day. 

Talk  of  travelling  !  why,  I  have  travelled  without  halting  almost  for 
the  last  fifty  years,  but  it  did  not  take  me  a  fiftieth  part  of  that  time 
to  find  out  that  the  worldly  old  Stork  was  right. 

From  the  -moment  of  entering  seriously  on  my  journeys,  I  was 
reminded  of  this  proverb  by  a  celebrated  moralist. — "  One  travels  in 
order  to  relate  one's  travels."  I  determined  to  follow  this  maxim,  and 
accordingly,  armed  with  note  book,  set  out  to  explore  the  world.  As 
occasion  presented  itself,  I  related  my  adventures,  and  was  fortunate  in 
securing  listeners  who,  however,  were  afraid  to  applaud  what  might 
prove  unpopular.  At  last  a  bird  (in  truth  no  friend  of  mine),  well- 
known  in  fashionable  circles,  hazarded  Ms  patronage,  saying  aloud  with 
the  most  perfect  assurance,  that  my  tales  were  decidedly  good.  That 
made  my  fortune,  not  that  my  tales  were  improved  by  this  notice,  but 
they  became  sanctioned,  so  to  speak.  Soon  my  stories  flew  from  beak 
to  beak ;  I  found  them  everywhere.  However  little  one  deserves  praise, 
it  is  always  flattering,  I  therefore  continue. 

AN  OLD  CASTLE. 

There  was  once  an  old  castle — I  begin  story-telling  after  the  good 
old  fashion,  it  somehow  gives  one  a  fair  start,  and  it  is  expected — 

There  was  once  an  old  castle,  the  castle  of  .  .  .it  neither  matters 
what  nor  where. 

At  a  time  when  France  boasted  almost  impregnable  castles,  this  one 
had  often  resisted  the  fiercest  onslaughts,  although  it  had  been  taken 
and  retaken  times  without  number,  when  the  loves  of  valiant  knights 
for  maidens  fair  caused  many  bitter  feuds.  The  castle  during  troublous 


372  PUBLIC  AND  PRIVATE  LIFE  OF  ANIMALS. 


times  had  been  overthrown  little  by  little,  so  that  almost  nothing 
remained  of  the  original  building. 

It  is  sufficient  to  say,  it  was  taken  and  pillaged  during  the  Revolution 
°f  ?93>  which  demolished  many  old  strongholds;  after  that  of  1815  it 
was  about  to  be  restored,  and  its  fortune  was  visibly  brightening  when 
overtaken  by  the  Revolution  of  1830,  so  ably  described  by  the  Hare  in 
the  opening  pages  of  this  book. 

The  old  fortress  was  then  deprived  of  its  rank  and  ancient  aristocratic 
fame,  and  in  its  degradation,  sold  to  a  banker,  an  individual  who, 
although  rich,  was  ignorant  of  the  archseological  fitness  of  things.  So  it 
turned  out  that  the  purchaser  while  devoting  wealth  and  ambition  to 
his  new  property,  gave  it  the  final  blow. 

Masons  were  seen  at  work  everywhere,  filling  up  holes,  plastering 
and  whitewashing  walls ;  just  as  if  seeking  to  impart  a  delicate  grace 
and  refinement  to  a  rugged  old  rock.  A  terrace  was  built  (renaissance!), 
supposed  to  be  in  keeping  with  the  old  remaining,  parts  of  the  castle, 
and  the  chapel  became  a  billiard  room.  The  old  place  was  thoroughly 
rebuilt,  and  the  new  owner  satisfied.  There  was  a  little  of  everything 
about  it.  Every  style  under  heaven  figured  in  the  edifice,  the  heteroge- 
neous mixture  being  hideous  enough  to  disturb  the  reposing  dust  of 
ancient  Byzantine  architects.  For  all  that,  the  restoration  was  much 
applauded  by  the  courtiers  of  this  king  of  bullion. 

Some  parts  of  the  building  were  happily  overlooked,  or  rather 
saved. 

Thus  it  came  about  that  the  poor  old  castle  was  renewed,  decked 
with  a  painted  and  plastered  mask,  as  inferior  to  the  genuine  original 
as  the  mask  of  a  harlequin  to  the  face  beneath. 

As  I  have  already  said,  I  was  born  in  Strasbourg  Cathedral,  that 
gem  of  Alsace,  beneath  the  classic  sculptured  stone  in  the  great  porch. 
When  one  has  had  such  a  cradle,  reared  as  I  was  to  venerate  antiquity 
and  all  its  triumphs  of  art,  it  is  natural  to  protest  against  the  impu- 
nity of  those  who  destroy  the  noble  works  of  the  ancients. 

The  restored  portion  was  tenanted — the  terrace,  I  mean — by  barn 
and  other  Owls,  comical  creatures  who  gave  themselves  the  airs  of  the 
first  lords  of  the  soil,  dukes  and  duchesses  forsooth. 

One  evening  after  a  long  day's  flight  I  arrived  at  this  castle,  wearied 
and  in  the  worst  of  tempers  ;  out  of  tune  with  the  world  and  myself. 
I  was  haunted  by  ennui,  and  one  of  those  unskilful  sportsmen  who 
respect  neither  age  nor  species,  and  to  whom  nothing  is  sacred. 


SOUVENIRS  OF  AN  OLD  ROOK.  373 

By  chance  I  alighted  on  the  balustrade  of  the  terrace,  from  the 
midst  of  which  a  group  of  half-dead  cypresses  was  waving  as  the  hour 
of  midnight  sounded  through  the  chill  air.  In  romances  this  hour  is 
never  allowed  to  strike  with  impunity,  but  in  the  true  tale  I  am  relat- 
ing, events  must  follow  their  natural  course.  The  hour  struck  and 
nothing  particular  happened.  It  occurred  to  me  to  go  to  roost  so  as 
to  be  ready  for  a  fresh  start  in  the  morning.  I  accordingly  settled 
myself. 


THE  DUKE  AND  DUCHESS. 

I  was  just  going  to  sleep  when  the  pale  moonlight  revealed  an  Owl 
sheltering  with  one  wing  an  Owlet  of  rather  striking  appearance,  while 
with  the  other  he  draped  himself  as  would  an  operatic  hero  with  his 
toga.  I  soon  overheard  them  talking  about  the  moon,  the  weather, 
A:c.,  or  rather  singing  sentiment  to  a  very  lame  tune. 

"  Poor  pale  moon,  if  one  only  believed  lovers,  its  light  was  made  for 
them  !" 

I  always  shrank  from  intruding  myself  upon  the  hospitality  of  others, 
so  I  whispered  to  a  passing  Bat,  "  My  dear,  would  you  be  so  good  as 
to  tell  your  masters  a  centenarian  Rook  seeks  shelter  for  the  night." 

" Who  are  you  addressing  1 "  replied  the  Bat ;  "I  am  neither  nurse 
nor  lackey.  I  am  in  the  service  of  the  Duchess,  and  have  the  honour 
of  being  her  first  maid-in-waiting.  But  who  are  you,  Mrs.  Rook  of  a 
hundred  summers  1  Where  do  you  hail  from  1  How  shall  I  announce 
you  ?  What  is  your  title  1 " 

"  My  titles  to  consideration  are  my  age  and  need  of  rest." 

"  What  a  silly  old  crone,"  said  the  stupid  creature  as  she  left  me. 
"  Nobles  are  never  tired.  Weariness  is  no  title,  it  is  the  common 
attribute  of  the  vulgar  !  " 

Soon  I  came  across  the  third  maid-in-waiting,  who  proved  herself  two 
degrees  less  impertinent.  "  Do  you  know,"  she  said,  "  the  first  maid 
has  just  been  scolded  on  your  account  ]  The  Duchess  was  just  singing 
a  nocturnal  duet  with  my  Lord,  when  she  remarked,  *  How  dare  you  ] 
I  am  invisible  to  the  poor.'  Besides,  she  only  entertains  titled  persons, 
and  it  seems  you  have  no  title." 

II  What  do  you  say?  have  I  not  eyes  to  see  that  your  Grand  Duke 


374 


PUBLIC  AND  PRIVATE  LIFE  OF  ANIMALS. 


and   Duchess   are   simply  Owl  and   Owlet,  on  whom  those  airs   sit 
badly  \ " 

"Hush!"  whispered  the  Bat,  who  was  rather  talkative.      "Speak 


A  NOCTURNAL  UUET. 


lower.  Were  it  known  that  I  listened  to  you,  I  would  be  drawn  away 
and  perhaps  eaten.  Since  leaving  the  place  of  their  humble  birth  they 
only  dream  of  grandeur,  and  hope  one  day  to  become  real  aristocrats 


SOUVENIRS  OF  AN  OLD  ROOK.  375 

in  the  midst  of  these  old  tokens  of  nobility.  Bah  !  the  cowl  does  not 
make  the  monk,  any  more  than  the  castle  does  the  prince.  Fly  over 
there,  my  old  friend,  to  the  right,  and  you  will  find  a  better  shelter  in 
the  ruins  of  the  castle." 

"  Show  me  them ;  lead  me  to  the  souvenirs  of  departed  greatness, 
out  of  sight  of  this  sickly,  spurious,  howling  waste  of  plaster  and  paint, 
sham,  and  shoddy.  Thank  you,  my  dear,  your  mistress  was  only 
natural  when  she  was  rude." 

Very  little  remained  of  the  old  castle,  yet  I  would  have  given  fifty 
restored  ones  for  a  single  wall  of  the  old  pile. 

Is  there  anything  more  touching  in  the  world  than  ruins  which  bear 
witness,  so  eloquently,  to  the  greatness  of  the  past  ? 

How  can  we  hesitate  between  old  and  new  1  The  great  present  is 
but  the  mimicry  of  the  greater  past. 


AN  OLD  FALCON. 

This  venerable  wall  enclosed  a  court  as  old  as  itself,  and  decked  on 
one  side  with  the  green  shoots  of  a  vine.  Lilies  and  wild  tulips  were 
growing  between  the  stones  of  a  dilapidated  flight  of  steps  partly 
covered  with  ivy.  Sweet-scented  wall-flowers  and  a  variety  of  weeds 
were  disputing  the  spaces  with  mosses,  lichens,  grass,  briars,  and  nettles. 

Parsley,  tufts  of  samphire  and  poppies,  found  a  home  among  the 
debris,  the  bright  flowers  rivalling  flames  of  consuming  fire. 

AVI ifii  the  art  of  man  has  ceased  to  usurp  the  soil,  nature  slowly  but 
surely  demolishes  his  handiwork,  and  recovers  her  domain. 

The  court  belonged  to  an  old  Falcon  who  was  ruined  by  the  revolu- 
tions. He  was  a  most  hospitable  bird,  who  spent  all  his  income  in 
entertaining,  thus  the  court  was  the  resort  of  creatures  of  every  fur 
and  feather;  resourceless  Rats,  Shrew-Mice,  Mining-Moles,  Crickets, 
and  other  musicians,  some  of  whom  had  even  taken  up  their  permanent 
abode  within  its  walls. 

Alas,  the  chivalry  and  hospitality  of  the  noble  Falcon  have  vanished, 
and  the  old  genuine  sport  in  which  he  used  to  delight  is  mimicked  by 
a  troop  of  modern  sportsmen  whom  the  birds  despise.  They  blaze 
away  pompously  with  pellets  and  powder,  secretly  filling  their  bags  at 
the  nearest  market-place. 


37<5  PUBLIC  AND  PRIVATE  LIFE  OF  ANIMALS. 


During  my  stay  at  this  ruin  I  had  occasion  to  study  the  habits  of  a 


Chameleon,  whose  character  interested  me  greatly.     I  therefore  hasten 
to  publish  my  observations  on  this  peculiar  type  of  reptile. 


SOUVENIRS  OF  AN  OLD  ROOK.  377 


WHAT  ANIMATES  THE  HEART  OF  A  CHAMELEON. 


In  one  of  the  most  pictur- 
esque niches  of  the  old  wall 
dwelt  a  Chameleon,  one  of 
the  handsomest,  most  distin- 
guished, and  most  amiable 
creatures  in  the  world.  His 
figure  was  slight,  his  tail 
slender,  his  nails  curved 

^  artistically,  his  teeth  white 
and  pearly,  and  his  eyes 

if  quick   and    animated.     His 

!%jHMiiLMH&®e£    c'ian,sin° colours  wej?  a11 

v/*"**  of  them  most  agreeable  to 

behold,    indeed    the   whole 

of  this  charming  creature  was  delicate  and  bewitching. 
When  he  ascended  the  wall,  twisting  his  body  into  a  thousand 
elegant  forms,  or  when  running  through  the  flowering  grass,  one  never 
tired  of  looking  at  him.  Besides  no  one  could  be  more  simple  or 
unaffected  than  this  king  of  Lizards.  He  had  no  experience  of  the 
world,  at  least  he  only  once  had  occasion  to  go  into  society,  into  the 
little  world  of  Lizards,  which  is  a  hundred  times  less-corrupt  than  the 
world  of  Snakes,  or  of  men.  Yet  he  determined  never  to  return  to  it, 
as  the  single  day  which  he  spent  from  home  seemed  to  him  a  century. 
His  contact  with  the  world  had  left  no  taint,  he  lost  nothing  of  that 
natural  candour  born  of  the  freedom  of  the  fields,  where  one  sees  the 
budding  flowers  opening  to  their  fullest,  to  court  the  scrutiny  of  the 
midday  light. 

II. 


In  vain  did  a  crested  Jay  assure  him  of  his  descent  from  the  famous 
Crocodiles  of  the  Nile,  and  that  his  ancestors  were  thirty-four  feet  in 
length.  Finding  himself  so  small,  and  feeling  assured  that  the  greatest 
of  his  ancestors  had  not  been  able  to  add  a  single  line  to  his  tail,  he 
never  troubled  himself  about  his  origin.  It  was  sufficient  for  him  to 


378  PUBLIC  AND  PRIVATE  LIFE  OF  ANIMALS. 

know  that  he  had  been  brought  into  the  world  somehow,  and  to  feel 
thankful  for  it.  He  was  alike  devoid  of  aristocratic  weaknesses  and 
vulgar  vices.  The  most  singular  phase  of  his  character  was  complete 
indifference  to  the  sentiment  of  love.  The  most  attractive  female- 
Lizards  knowing  this,  had  disposed  of  their  hearts  and  affections  to 
others. 

in. 

The  truth  was  he  had  given  his  heart  away,  unknown  to  his  friends. 
Love  had  stolen  upon  him  without  he  himself  knowing  how — it  is  thus 
that  the  passion  makes  the  heart  captive.  Love  had  so  taken  possession 
of  him,  that  he  could  not  get  rid  of  it  if  he  would.  This  is  how  one 
loves  well  and  wisely. 

He  loved  the  sun.  When  it  was  out,  he  was  in  it,  and  could  think  of 
nothing  else.  He  slept  while  yet  awake,  realising  the  sweetness  of 
noonday  dreams. 


Our  hero  held  that  Lizard-love  was  a  sentiment  unknown,  yet  beneath 
the  stone  on  which  he  sunned  himself,  a  pair  of  bright  eyes  feasted 
upon  his  every  look  and  action,  and  a  little  heart  throbbed  for  him 
alone.  This  romantic  worshipper  feeling  that  she  might  just  as  well 
lavish  her  love  upon  a  stone,  that  her  adoration  was  unobserved,  and 
her  passion  unrequited,  sank  into  a  state  of  despondency.  Haunted  by 
dark  doubts,  she  at  last  thought  of  death  as  the  end  of  her  sorrows. 

In  her  extremity,  she  inquired  of  an  old  Eat,  whether  it  was  better 
to  live  and  suffer,  or  to  die  and  be  done  with  dreams  and  delusions  ? 

"Die,  of  course,"  said  the  Eat,  "if  you  cannot  make  yourself  agree- 
able." 

"I  will  die!"  she  exclaimed;  "but  he  shall  know  the  reason,  he 
shall  know  all !  " 

Such  is  the  force  of  a  noble  resolution,  that  the  little  Lizard  who  had 
never  till  now  dared  to  look  her  loved  one  in  the  face,  came  forward. 
But  her  approaches  were  met  by  the  gradual  retreat  of  our  hero,  for 
he  was  naturally  timid  in  the  presence  of  females. 

"  Stay,"  cried  the  little  one  in  a  tone  of  despair.  "  I  love  you,  and 
you  do  not  even  know  that  I  exist.  I  must  die." 

"Don't  die,  my  dear,"  he  kindly  replied ;   "that  would  be  highly 


SOUVENIRS  OF  AN  OLD  ROOK. 


379 


improper.     What   do   you   mean   by   saying  you   love  me  1     I  am  a 
stranger  to  you,  yet  a  joke  comes  well  from  those  pretty  lips." 


He  instantly  perceived,  for  he  was  an  honest  fellow,  that  his  cold 
doubts  wounded  her  sensitive  nature,  and  a  light  warmer  and  brighter 
than  the  sun  flashed  from  her  eyes  and  took  possession  of  him.  He 
was  conquered — he  proposed,  and  they  were  married. 


380  PUBLIC  AND  PRIVATE  LIFE  OF  ANIMALS. 


It  always  happens  so  with  bachelors.  It  is  the  last  straw  that 
breaks  the  camel's  back,  in  love  as  in  life. 

Our  hero  still  glories  in  the  sunshine,  and  takes  his  ease  stretched 
out  before  his  own  doorway. 


HISTORY  OF  THE  HOSTS  OF  THE  TERRACE— Continued. 

The  Duchess  was  by  nature  a  person  born  to  be  plump  and  healthy ; 
to  eat  her  food  with  the  appetite  of  a  country  clown,  and  to  enjoy 
drinking  and  dining  with  a  savage  relish.  But  she  crushed  and 
curbed  these  tendencies  before  the  world,  gratifying  them  only  in  secret. 
In  token  of  her  exalted  station  she  professed  sensitiveness  and  delicacy. 
She  was  frightened  by  the  fall  of  a  leaf,  the  flight  of  a  bird  or  insect, 
and  above  all,  by  her  own  bulky  shadow. 

Before  folk  she  uttered  nothing  but  plaintive,  feeble  cries,  reserving 
the  full  blast  of  her  lungs  for  the  ears  of  the  Duke.  The  purest  air 
was  too  heavy  for  this  ethereal  Owl,  who  detested  the  sun — the  God 
of  paupers,  as  she  termed  it — Her  husband,  astonished  at  the  fine 
carriage,  grace,  and  society-refinement  of  his  poor  barn- Owlet,  exhausted 
his  resources  in  efforts  to  keep  pace  with  her.  Alas  !  his  highest 
flights  left  him  far  behind,  so  far,  indeed,  that  his  faithful  spouse 
bemoaned  and  bescreeched  her  fate  in  being  wedded  to  a  person  so 
hideously  vulgar. 

The  Duchess  eloped  with  a  Kite,  and  no  one  pitied  the  Duke,  for 
the  fall  brought  by  pride  never  begets  pity. 

As  a  finishing  blow  the  lady  left  a  perfumed  note  for  her  husband 


SOUVENIRS  OF  AN  OLD  ROOK.  381 

on    the   spot  where  they  performed  their   moonlight   duets  on    the 
terrace.     It  ran  as  follows  : — 

"  THE  DUKE, — It  is  part  of  my  destiny  to  be  misunderstood,  I  shall 
not  therefore  attempt  to  explain  to  you  the  motive  for  my  departure, 
"  (Signed)      THE  DUCHESS  OF  THE  TERRACE." 

The  Duke  stood  petrified  for  some  moments,  after  which,  seized  with 
a  fit  of  despair,  he  rushed  down  to  the  edge  of  a  dark  pool,  to  ascertain 
whether  the  water  would  inspire  him  with  courage  to  drown  himself. 
First,  he  cautiously  dipped  his  beak  into  the  pool  to  feel  its  temperature, 
just  as  the  moon  stole  out  from  behind  a  cloud,  and  he  beheld  his  imauv 
on  the  surface.  His  mind  at  once  grasped  the  frightful  picture  of  his 
ruffled  plumage,  and  he  found  sweet  solace  in  arranging  his  toilet.  The 
notion  crossed  his  mind  that  the  Duchess  might  repent,  if  she  knew 
her  Lord  had  died  dressed  in  a  style  becoming  his  station. 

Bracing  his  nerves  for  the  fatal  plunge,  he  bent  over  the  pool  at  an 
unhappy  moment,  when  it  occurred  to  him,  that  birds  about  to  die 
should  think  twice  before  they  leap,  and  feel  satisfied  they  have  sufficient 
grounds  for  the  sacrifice.  Stepping  backwards  a  few  paces,  he  read  his 
wife's  letter  for  the  hundredth  and  first  time. 

"  What  a  fool  I  am  ! "  he  exclaimed,  "  it  is  possible  after  all,  I  am 
imputing  a  wrong  motive  to  my  wife.  There  is  no  knowing ;  she  may 
have  simply  gone  to  the  country  for  a  week's  repose,  and  will  soon 
return."  In  his  doubts  he  determined  to  consult  a  Carp,  reputed  for 
her  knowledge  of  past,  present,  and  future,  and  many  things  besides. 
The  misery  of  the  world  is  the  making  of  these  sorcerers.  Approaching 
the  river  he  cried  out,  "  Tell  me  my  fate  old  fish  famed  for  finding  out 
facts  of  the  future."  Slowly  the  Carp  rose  from  the  water — until  IKT 
body  was  half  way  above  the  surface — and  summoning  a  troop  of  piscine 
spirits,  disposed  them  in  a  ring.  Above  floated  circles  of  winged  insects 
in  the  air,  gleaming  in  the  phosphorescent  glow  reflected  from  the  scales 
of  the  water-witches.  Dense  clouds  darkened  the  atmosphere,  render- 
ing the  lurid  light  all  the  more  intense  ;  a  profound  stillness  reigned,  so 
hushed  was  the  scene,  that  the  Owl  heard  nothing,  save  the  beating  of 
his  heart.  The  sorcerer  placing  herself  in  the  centre  of  the  ring,  sent 
the  spirits  wheeling  in  a  mad  dance.  After  the  third  round,  the 
Carp  dived  and  brought  up  this  reply, 

"  Your  beloved  wife  is  not  dead  !" 


382  PUBLIC  AND  PRIVATE  LIFE  OF  ANIMALS. 


That  said,  she  bent  herself  like  a  bow,  kissed  her  tail,  and  bounding 
into  the  air,  disappeared. 


"  She  is  not  dead,"  repeated  the  chorus.     "  Owl,  it  is  said  you  must 
die!" 


SOUVENIRS  OF  AN  OLD  ROOK. 


383 


"  She  is  not  dead  ! "  repeated  the  Owl. 

"  She  must  be  !  " 

"  Well,  never  mind.  To  sacrifice  a  life  so  valuable  as  my  own 
would  not  mend  matters,"  so  he  consigned  the  Carp  and  her  oracle  to 
the water. 

I  have  been  told  that  soon  after  these  events,  this  rich,  but  weak- 
minded  Owl  poisoned  himself  with  a  Frog.  That  is  how  an  Owl  dies 
of  love. 

My  tale  ends  here.  I  have  plucked  and  used  my  last  quill,  and 
nothing  remains  but  the  stump.  Age  is  telling  on  me,  the  effort  to 
write  seems  too  great.  I  must,  therefore,  see  my  physician. 


CHAPTER. 


In  which  it  will  be  shown  that  with  beasts,  as  with  men,  one  revolution 
follows  another,  and  that  they  are  all  more  or  less  alike  in  fair  promises, 
and  failures  to  fulfil  them. 


THE  Animals  were  once  more  as- 
sembled, and  the  tumult  of  voices 
worse  than  ever.  Each  and  all  of 
them  were  clamouring  for  reform. 

"  Of  what  do  you  complain  1 "  cried 
the  Fox,  addressing  the  crowd. 

"  If  we  only  knew  our  grievances," 
they  replied,  "we  should  not  com- 
plain." 

"We  do  not  know,"  said  a  voice, 
"but  if  we  examine  we  shall  find 
out." 

''Examine  them,  by  all  means,"  cried  the  Fox. 
"  What  good  have  you  done,"  shouted  the  voice,  "  by  compiling  a 
one-sided  history  1     Too  much  here,  and  too  little  there.     Let  us  fight. 
A  revolution  will  purge  the  kingdom." 

"  That  is  all  very  well,  my  friend,"  replied  the  orator,  "  but  reason 
is  better  than  haphazard  revolution.  You  must  have  learned  that  by 
experience." 

"  Gentlemen,"  said  the  Weasel,  coming  to  the  aid  of  his  accomplice, 
the  Fox,  "  it  is  by  practising  deceit,  we  become  perfect.  Let  us  begin 
again." 

"I  could  have  said  so,"  cried  the  Mocking-bird,  "ink,  ink,  always 


THE  LAST  CHAPTER. 


385 


2  P, 


386  PUBLIC  AND  PRIVATE  LIFE  OF  ANIMALS. 

ink ;  it  blots  out  a  multitude  of  sins  where  good  actions  would  prove  of 
no  avail." 


"  Bravo  ! "  from  all  sides.     "  Down  with  the  editors  !  " 
There  was  only  one  ink-pot  in  the  room,  and  it  was  smashed. 
"  It  is  not  good  for  us  to  be  here,"  said  the*  Weasel  to  the  Fox; 
"people  invariably  stone  their  prophets.     Let  us  go  hence  ! " 


THE  LAST  CHAPTER. 


387 


The  volume  was  closed,  the  animals  dispersed,  for  the  keeper  ap- 
peared on  the  scene  to  lock  the  door. 

The  Kingdoves  mounted  to  their  clouds;  the  Bear  departed  with 
his  cubs  ;  the  Doves  ascended  heavenward  ;  while  Tortoises,  Beetles, 
Bats,  Shrimps,  and  Apes  danced  round  a  bonfire  of  rejected  manu- 
scripts. 


T1IK    KM). 


FKINTEU  BY  BALLANTYNE,  HANSON  AND  CO. 
EDINBURGH  AND  LONDON 


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ftEO  0  »<Ul- 

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JAM 

FORM  NO.  DD6 


UNIVERSITY  OF  CALIFORNIA,  BERKELEY 
BERKELEY,  CA  94720-6000 


BERKE